An Important Moment In MMA History | Randy Couture Beats Tim Sylvia
By Red Mattos:
I have to start out by saying I am not a Randy Couture fan. You read that right- not. That is to say, I don’t hate the guy, nor do I even dislike him. I am just not a fan. His acting excites me more than his fighting style. I realize as I’m typing this, I should probably post this under ‘anonymous’ for fear of being caught in a rear naked choke while being asked if I was bored, every time I enter an MMA gym.
The reason I open with this honest, albeit possibly unhealthy admission, is to prove how impressive to not just the MMA world, but to myself, Couture’s win over Tim Sylvia truly was. The year was 2007, the nation was inviting everyone under their collective umbrella –ella , ella’s— to protect them from Eddie Murphy in yet another fat suit. A young MMA fighter by the name of Randy Couture decided to come out of retirement to take on then-heavyweight champ, Tim Sylvia. Needless to say, Sylvia’s 6ft. 8 in. frame coupled with Couture’s 43 years on this planet, made even the most diehard Couture fans a bit apprehensive.
The scene was set: Columbus, Ohio. UFC 68. The crowd was pumped and ready to watch a man who was alive during the Johnson administration, take on a man who probably thinks that was a phallic joke. Like most, I had hoped Couture’s end would be quick and as painless as an MMA loss can be. However, as any novice MMA fan can attest to, that was not the case. It didn’t take long for Couture to show Sylvia and the entire MMA world that this old dog had some fight left in him. In fact, a mere eight seconds into the first round, Couture dropped Sylvia with a well-placed punch, taking the round and setting the tone for the rounds to come. Couture used his superior speed, wrestling and grit to control Sylvia anywhere the match went. Couture scored a unanimous decision win, earning the heavyweight title and honor of being the oldest (so far) champion in UFC history.
While this epic and awe-inspiring fight did little to “Couture up” my MMA rankings, it did give me a newfound respect for him and MMA. It also showed the world that like MMA, Couture was evolving and would be a force to be reckoned with.