Listen to “5PM11: Greco-Roman World Teamer & former UFC Champion Randy Couture” on Spreaker.
The eleventh episode of The Five Point Move Podcast comes at you with former multi-time US World Team member and MMA pioneer Randy Couture. Before he became a UFC legend, Couture was one of the most consistent Senior Greco-Roman competitors in the US throughout a career that spanned over a decade and a half and included a Pan Am Games gold along with numerous other international medals. Upon his retirement from both sports, the native Washingtonian has also become a successful actor, appearing in The Expendables franchise in addition to many other roles in both film and TV.
With United World Wrestling reconfiguring forced par terre and passivity, Couture and podcast co-host Dennis Hall offer their insights regarding the potential benefits and problems surrounding the rule amendments. The conversation then moves to topics regular listeners of the program might be familiar with, such as the perception issues facing American Greco-Roman and why (or why not) athletes keeping a heavy travel schedule overseas is a worthwhile approach. Of course, Couture’s beginnings as a mixed martial arts competitor and his involvement in the earlier days of the UFC are covered, as well. MMA fans in particular may find the conclusive battery of questions entertaining.
A few highlights
Couture on passivity
“I kind of liked the rules a couple of years ago. They were pretty good, they seemed to encourage active, aggressive wrestling. There was still some forced par terre, they weren’t giving away points without some pretty blatant passivity. But we never seem to get to settle on some rules, and how do we keep fans if we have to constantly reeducate them about the interpretation of the rules? Even as an athlete, I have to constantly adjust my training and adjust (to) the minutiae of the letter of the law now, and it changes every year. It’s hard, hard to keep up with.”
Couture on increasing participation in Greco
“We don’t have that much professional coaching for Greco at a high level. It’s hard to find any coaches with real professional experience. There aren’t a lot of people out there, we’re up against it in Greco, for sure. Freestyle is close enough to where there are a ton of college coaches and in every college and high school program across the country who competed in freestyle, and it’s similar enough to collegiate style that it’s an easy transition. Greco? We don’t seem to be attracting those young men from the junior high and high schools. The top one and two guys have aspirations of being on the freestyle team instead of the Greco team, and that’s something we need to change.”
Hall on overseas tours
“Right now, I think we’re competing too much internationally. When we’re gone and in one month we’re back on the road traveling again — and we haven’t made any adjustments and we go 0-1, and we waste thousands of dollars on those trips — I think it’s a waste of money. You know what? Get your ass back home, get in the gym, and figure out what the hell you’re doing wrong. That’s my problem. How many of our guys went overseas and spent $2-3,000 for one match? Wow, that was a great deal! Holy balls, I wish I could do it my whole life! No, it’s stupid.”
Couture on beating Tim Sylvia after coming out of retirement in 2007
“I obviously knew Tim very well. He lived with me for three weeks out in Oregon and trained at Team Quest. I trained with him twice a day, day in and day out, for a few weeks there, and I got to know him. I knew where his strengths were and where the potential holes in his game were. I felt like I matched up very, very well with him. You know, he’s such a big guy and also, kind of seeing the transition. He kind of went from going out there fighting to win a fight, to this kind of mentality where he was going out there fighting not to lose. It was a completely different mindset for him.
“I also knew that psychologically, Tim was one of those guys, kind of like Tito (Ortiz), who needed to generate heat, he needed to generate animosity by running his mouth. And because we were friends, he was going to have some trouble doing that with me, he wasn’t going to be able to call me a bunch of names and say what a douchebag, dirty fighter I was because we were actually friends, which is something he had to do to get himself psyched up to go out there and fight and do his job.”