When UFC legend Randy Couture isn’t acting on the big screen, the former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion can be seen talking turkey as a member of the PFL broadcasting team. ‘The Natural’ caught up with Bloody Elbow for an exclusive interview to discuss the circulating PFL/Bellator sale rumors.
Being so close to the PFL, we also asked him to weigh in on the upcoming Tyson Fury vs. Francis N’Gannou boxing match, Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz in boxing and MMA, and of course we brought up Randy Couture vs. James Toney. Before it’s all said and done, Randy also shares his thoughts on Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic.
Big thanks to Randy Couture for taking out the time to speak with us!
Randy Couture interview video
Cauliflower ear scene in The Expendables
- I remember watching you in The Expendables. There’s this scene where you go off on this tangent about your cauliflower ear, that nobody in the movie really wants to hear about. Was that written in the script, or was that like a Randy Couture ad lib?
“You know, I got the call from my agent saying, ‘hey, Sylvester Stallone wants you to stop by his office. He’s got a project he wants to talk to you about.’ So I walked in, you know, of course you’re not passing up a meeting like that… And originally he brought me in for Hail Caesar, which was written for Wesley Snipes originally, and Wesley was having some issues. So they were going to readapt that role to fit me, and they wanted me to rant about my cauliflower ears…”
“So a couple weeks after our conversation, Sly ended up getting Terry Crews to play Hail Ceasar, which was an amazing fit and Terry’s an amazing guy. And so I was like, oh, man, I’m going to be out, and he went and sat down and wrote Toll Road in to the script based on that conversation we had about Hail Cesar. I was very honored that that, you know, he’s a big enough fan of me in fighting to work like that, to keep me in the film.”
Next movie for Randy Couture
“It’s been an amazing experience, honestly. The biggest property I’ve been associated with in the 20 plus years I’ve been acting now and obviously that year Expendables One was the number one film in the country that summer, so we’re excited for Four. Four hits the theaters on September 22nd. A lot of new cast mates in this one. Only four of us originals: Stallone, [Jason] Statham, [Dolph] Lundgren and myself.”
PFL/Bellator sale rumors
- As a member of the PFL broadcast team, you’re pretty close to the promotion now. What are Randy Couture’s thoughts on the the PFL/Bellator sale rumors?
“I think it’s interesting. I mean, at first glance, you’re like, well, I don’t know. I understand. It’s a completely different format, so why would you buy that brand? It doesn’t fit into your format, but, if you recognize how fast the PFL has grown over the last six years, and exactly what they’ve done, they just launched PFL Europe. I think next year you’re going to see PFL Middle East, and PFL Africa come online and start putting out some product and creating some opportunities for some fighters in those regions.”
“And I think the pay-per-view model is going to launch next year in 2024, as well. Then, once you realize that they’re getting ready to launch a pay-per-view model, the Bellator acquisition makes a lot more sense. They have 250 fighters signed to that roster. There are many amazing fighters, marquee names and fighters. Volkanovski, Cyborg, Ryan Bader. The Patricky brothers.”
“I mean there’s a plethora of guys that are attached to that brand that they’ve spent a lot of time and money building the stars. So I get why and where the acquisition would come from, because those those guys would plug right into that pay-per-view model moving forward next year. We’ll see how it unfolds.”
Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou
- The vibe I get is everyone’s tremendously proud of Francis for for standing up for himself, like you said, for getting the paydays, even if they might not be picking him in a boxing match against Fury. What’s Randy Couture’s take?
“Yeah, definitely. He’s absolutely stepping up against Tyson Fury. I mean, he’s at the top of his game and the best boxer in the world right now, the head movement, the long range of the footwork. I mean all of it. He’s just an amazing competitor, so Francis has definitely bit off a big chunk to step in to boxing at that level. Francis has got amazing athleticism. He’s got amazing work ethic, and we all know about the power. And a guy with that kind of power, you can never count out.”
Randy Couture boxing James Toney?
- Back in 2010 there was this former boxing champion that came over to the UFC and got absolutely pantsed by this guy Randy Couture.
“There was a rumor, and I think James started the rumor because I think he would have liked to have had me, you know, step into the boxing ring with him after that fight. But there was never any conversation, certainly no serious conversation. I heard that rumor that that he wanted me to box, and I’m like I’m not a boxer. I’m a wrestler. I’m a mixed martial artist. You’re not taking away my areas of strength and making me just go to boxing. As much as I love boxing, my boxing was adequate for MMA. Good enough to get you to have to grab a hold of me.”
- Oh dude, you dropped Tim Sylvia. No, everybody remembers that. You come out. What was it, the inside leg kick, over hand right. Right out of the gate. Come on now, we know you got hands Randy!
“Yeah, it was purely proficient to force people to have to wrestle me in MMA. I mean, that was the goal.”
Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic
- Who is Randy Couture picking in the Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic matchup?
“Well, Stipe, he’s been out a little bit, but I know Stipe. He’s a diligent guy. He’s a very talented guy. I think he’s a great representation of the heavyweight division and I like that matchup. I think Jon may actually have to use some of his wrestling for a change, and not just rely on his striking ability and the long rangy levers that he has. I think Stipe’s going to challenge him a little bit and it’ll be interesting.”
“Obviously, there was some questions about Jon and how long Jon had been sitting out before he fought Cyril. And he looked great. He was right on track. He didn’t seem to be missing a beat at all. So I’m thinking that Stipe is not gonna have any ring rust. I think it’s been a little over a year since he’s competed. I think he’ll be ready to go. This is a huge opportunity for him. He’s going to take that seriously, and I think he’s got a great shot at winning that fight against John Jones.”
Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz
- How does Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz play out in Randy Couture’s mind?
“Jake is so much bigger than Nate, and obviously Nate and Nick’s boxing skills in in MMA are some of the best. That shoe shine and a lot of their skills in the boxing realm as well as obviously jiujitsu abilities that both of those young men have. I think you’re eliminating a huge strength for both of them by taking the grappling and the Jiujitsu part out of it, and just restricting them to just the striking and the boxing.”
“But they’re both great. And you know Nate’s a very good boxer. My question is, is he big enough. We’ve seen him as 155-pounder. He’s competed at 170. Where you know Jake Paul’s walking around at 190. Probably heavier than that. Contrary to popular belief, size doesn’t matter. It’s not so much the technical part of the fight, as that size difference and power difference? I think Jake has done his diligence.”
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