TORONTO — At some point, every professional athlete has to retire. If you’re lucky enough to stay active, for most, the questions about it begin in your mid-30s. That was when Randy Couture began his career. We’ve always wondered how long he can go. And yet now that he’s found his limit, we’re not quite ready for him to leave. In the midst of a three-fight win streak, the timing of Couture’s retirement announcement took many by surprise. Even at 47 years old, it seems, strangely, almost premature.
Not surprisingly, it’s been one of the main subjects of UFC 129 fight week, just as big a subject as the UFC’s first-ever stadium show hosting 55,000 people, or either of the two championship fights anchoring it.
Couture’s explained bits and pieces of his decision over the last few days. On Wednesday afternoon, he admitted that watching the final fighting days of his contemporary Chuck Liddell, and how the public called for his retirement, spurred him towards his ultimate decision to call it quits.