Randy Couture recounts playing spoiler to the UFC’s plans for Chuck Liddell

By Harry Kettle - February 1, 2021

UFC legend Randy Couture remembers playing the role of “spoiler” when he beat Chuck Liddell way back at UFC 43.

Randy Couture

Couture is so often regarded as a legend in mixed martial arts and rightly so, but many often forget that it was towards the end of what many considered to be his “prime” that he did some of his best work.

That includes beating Chuck Liddell at UFC 43 for the Interim Light Heavyweight Championship which, according to Couture himself, ruffled some feathers within the UFC – as he revealed on a recent episode of MMA Junkie‘s Legend 2 Legend series.

“Obviously I was the fly in the ointment for that whole scenario,” Couture said.

The scenario in question, of course, is the fact that Liddell was engaged in a rivalry with Tito Ortiz when this fight was put together on short notice. The hope from the UFC’s perspective, according to Couture, was that Liddell would win the interim belt and set up a unification fight with Ortiz.

The two men eventually found their way back to each other, but it must be noted that Randy Couture had a phenomenal ability to rise up from the ashes when most people thought he was down and out.

“The Natural” still clearly has some problems with White and the promotion, with one of those issues stemming all the way back to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when Couture gave his thoughts on the UFC’s insistence to put on UFC 249.

“I had such mixed feelings,” Couture said of White’s determination to promote UFC 249, which was ultimately canceled due to the pandemic (via MMA Fighting). “You start balancing, how much of this is hype? You start talking about the real numbers, look at the flu that happens every year, or so many other ways that people die. Where does this register on that same scale? We’re making such a huge deal and, literally, tanking our economy on a worldwide level over it.

“At the same time, everybody else is on lockdown,” Couture added. “Why do you think it’s OK to go out and try and put on a show and put athletes in harm’s way, potentially, with so many unknowns? I don’t know. I had mixed feelings about it.”​

What are your thoughts on this trip down memory lane with Randy Couture?


Chuck Liddell Randy Couture UFC