TORONTO — The end doesn’t always come gracefully, even for heroes. Randy Couture is and will forever be one of mixed martial arts’ seminal early figures, its building blocks. Fifty years from now, when we have better perspective, maybe we can write a fair and true portrait of his importance, but it’s fair to say it was massive.
“The Natural’s” era, though, is now over. Years after most pro athletes retire, Couture was still competing, excelling in a young man’s game, but no more. His epic run came to a definitive close on Saturday night, overshadowing everything in its path, including UFC 129, the 55,724 filling the Rogers Centre in the biggest MMA show in North American history, as well as Georges St. Pierre‘s sixth consecutive title defense. It ended with the legend going out on his shield.