UFC Hall of Famer-turned-Hollywood action star Randy Couture has opened up about why he spanked Tito Ortiz and what his trilogy fight with Chuck Liddell did for MMA.
Despite being regarded as one of the most famous MMA fighters in the world, Couture never cared to be famous in his respective sport. But during his 14-year MMA career, he became a household name as he battled two of the most celebrated fighters in their time – Ortiz and Liddell.
In an exclusive interview with “Fair Game,” Couture explained what his rivalry with Liddell has done for UFC and MMA as a sport. According to the six-time UFC champ, he and Liddell share the same as legacy as their trilogy significantly helped MMA to be recognized as a “legitimate” sport globally.
“A lot of it was timing. The sport was just starting to really blossom and be accepted as a mainstream, legitimate sport,” Couture said.
“I think because of the Ultimate Fighter and the timing of the whole thing, and the second fight with Chuck [Liddell], (and) after things exploded, it (UFC) became a different animal,” Couture explained.
Aside from Liddell, Couture also had epic moments inside the octagon with Ortiz. As he looked back at his relationship with “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy,” Couture revealed that Ortiz was a “very emotional” fighter.
“Tito [Ortiz] is a very emotional fighter,” Couture stated.
“I think that’s one of the things that drives him talking and doing the things that he does. He needs to kind of create that animosity,” Couture continued.
Couture also noted that he believes Ortiz had the skill set to beat him during their prime. However, he just happened to be the better the fighter during their clash.
“I’m sure that he was confident, he had what it took to beat me. It just happened to be my night that night and that could be a devastating thing,” Couture recalled.
One of the most unforgettable moments in the history of UFC was when Couture literally spanked Ortiz inside the octagon. To this day, “The Natural” still thinks that spanking Ortiz is one of the craziest things he has ever done as a professional fighter and was laughing hard as he explained how it happened.
“I am at this weird situation and 30 seconds left in the fight. He was trying to secure a knee bar submission which I’d countered but couldn’t get my foot away and I’m holding his feet sittin’ there, couldn’t go anywhere cause he’s hanging on to my leg and it just popped into my head. So I did it,” Couture explained.
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