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Randy Couture leaves the UFC, retires at age 44

The UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture (The Natural) announced today his immediate retirement.

Randy Couture leaves the UFC, retires at age 44 The Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter and UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture announced on Thursday that he is retiring. Some reports indicate that Couture's decision was based on the inability of UFC to sign the Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko for a fight with The Natural. According to a spokesman for Randy Couture, Emelianenko was the last big challenge for the UFC heavyweight champion and since the outlook for a fight between the two was grim, Couture felt as he had accomplished everything he could ever accomplish with MMA and UFC. The Fight Network reports that Randy Couture notified the UFC president Dana White of his decision to retire via a letter sent from South Africa, where The Natural is taking part in the filming of "The Scorpion King — Rise of the Akkadian".

 "I appreciate this opportunity the sport of MMA and the UFC has given me. However, I'm tired of swimming upstream at this stage with the management of the UFC. It only makes sense at this point in my career to fight Fedor Emelianenko, and since he's now signed with another organization, I feel like it's time to resign and focus on my other endeavors," read the letter according to The Fight Network.

Mixed Martial Arts

 A statement from Dana White read: "I'm not surprised at all by Randy's decision. I talked to Randy several weeks ago and he said that if he couldn't fight Fedor, then he has nothing left to prove in the sport of mixed martial arts. He has been doing a lot of acting, and I know he is in South Africa right now filming a movie. I think it's a great move for Randy's acting career to retire from fighting while he is on top. As we all know, Randy retired before. The landscape in MMA changes every day. So when he is ready to come out of retirement again, he is still under contract with me, and I'm ready to promote him."

 Published on 10/11/2007

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