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UFC 105 Preview: How Is Randy Couture Able to Remain Competitively Healthy?

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Captain America speaks to AOL Fanhouse and talks about his physical health heading into this weekend's main event with Brandon Vera:

You're taking this fight after an 11-week layoff: One of the shortest you've ever had in your career. Do you like having that little time between fights?
Yeah, that was one of the things I liked about this fight: It's a very quick turnaround and I was very healthy after the Nogueira fight, so it allows me to keep moving. The last time I fought two times in pretty quick succession were my fights against Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz [in June and September of 2003], and that worked out pretty well for me, so I feel great about it.

I know you get the question all the time, but how do you stay in good enough shape to fight twice in three months at age 46, and how much longer can you do it?
I don't know if there's any one answer. I keep my body healthy. I stay in good shape. In the last couple years I've spent a lot of time getting my blood chemistry evaluated, taking the supplements and eating the things that my blood chemistry says I should be. That's been the biggest thing the last couple years, age 45 and 46.

Is it realistic to think you could be fighting at 50?
Anything is possible. I'm not thinking that far ahead, but I'm not ruling anything out either. I'm just preparing myself for a great fight and I hope I'll have more of them.

Some of you may recall I had shoulder surgery in May to repair a torn labrum I suffered going hog wild during a set of decline bench presses. Coincidentally, my doctor/orthopedic surgeon is a huge MMA fan and one-time doctor for the Washington Redskins. We talked about injuries both professional fighters and football players sustained and how incredible it was they could come back from some rather debilitating setbacks to still compete at the professional level. His explanation was both sufficient yet hardly medical: "they're just not built like you and me".

In short, their bodies were capable of a function (and regeneration) that ours was not. I liken it to exceedingly intelligent people. If you've ever met a smart person - and I am referring to the elite of the elite who go on to the greatest heights of career success - they are able to compute and problem solve for issues in ways we simply cannot. We can certainly train our existing minds to maximize output, but the threshold for the truly and uniquely gifted will always be higher in ways that astound us.

I believe Randy Couture is physically something similar, but I cannot shake the idea that the genetic lottery doesn't fully explain his ability. Evaluating "blood chemistry" means what, exactly? I would never accuse Couture of using steroids or other illegal performance enhancing drugs largely because a) there's no evidence and b) I don't suspect he's using them. But I am curious to see how he is using medical science to aid his efforts. How close to the ethical medical lines is he approaching? What novel techniques is he employing to give him the comparative advantage? Is what Couture doing similar to other world-class athletes or is his regimen original and unique?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants answers to those questions. We are talking about a man who after a highly accomplished career in amateur wrestling is considering cage fighting until he's 50. Whatever he's doing, I'd like to mimic it.

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