Randy Couture has had his share of humbling losses. He blitzed out of the gate into the UFC back in 1997, winning the UFC 13 heavyweight tournament, and then returned at UFC 15 to beat rising star Vitor Belfort. He went on to beat Maurice Smith at UFC Japan to end the year and was heavyweight champion just 7 months into his pro-MMA career. Then he got beat, by Enson Inoue at Vale Tudo Japan 1998 and Mikhail Ilyukhin in Rings. They were his only two fights in 1998 and 1999 and it would be a year and a half before he returned to MMA.
It wasn’t the last time Couture lost in his career, but it was the last layoff of more than a few months for nearly six years. It seems like, throughout his career, that coming back from a loss was something Randy Couture always knew how to do well. Even if the only loss he ever avenged was to Vitor Belfort, Couture always seemed ready for his next fight, ready to move on from whatever the past might have been.
That may make him just the person to give some insight to Ronda Rousey about the first loss of her career, and how it was probably a humbling experience (transcript via MMAFighting):
“I thought by the third or fourth round Ronda would have figured out the footwork and gotten her hands on her and found a way to submit her. Holly had an amazing performance and has demonstrated a ton of class with how she’s dealt with Ronda and the media and all the shock of winning that event. I think, you know, there are occasions where we all kind of need some humble pie and that’s probably where Ronda is sitting right now.”
Alongside his feelings that Rousey’s overconfidence in her hands most likely contributed to her loss to Holly Holm, he had some thoughts about what she might change for the rematch:
“I think those are things that can be fixed. Change her approach to closing the distance and getting your hands on Holly. Make Holly operate where [Rousey] is strongest. How many judo medalists do we have in this sport? Time and time again that’s where she’s won her fights.”
“It looked to me like she thought she was going to go out and strike with a world-class boxer and that’s always a bad idea,” said Couture. “It would have been a bad idea for me to do it with James Toney, it was a bad idea for her to do it with Holly Holm.”
Currently, Rousey vs. Holm is tentatively scheduled for UFC 200 on July 9th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Maybe this time around we’ll see less of the boxer-puncher Rousey and more of the Judo Olympian.
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