Late last night, we posted about the seemingly far-fetched rumor of Randy Couture returning to the Octagon at UFC 91. According to MMAJunkie.com though, the rumor may actually have some truth behind it.
Reigning UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture could return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship by year’s end as part of an out-of-court settlement with the organization.
Multiple sources close to the fighter, speaking exclusively to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), today said that Couture is willing to fight once more for the UFC, possibly before the end of the year, as a potentia; resolution to his ongoing legal battles with the fight promotion.
However, Couture himself could not be reached for comment, and it’s unknown if the UFC is even considering the offer at this point.
According to one source, as part of Couture’s concession to return the octagon, the 45-year-old UFC hall-of-famer would want to walk away “clear and free” from the organization after the bout.
As the report says, it’s unknown what the UFC’s feelings are on Couture’s offer, so it’s hard to say if this is realistic or not. That said, I find it hard to believe this would be acceptable to the UFC. What would they really get from it? They are obviously winning the legal battle if Couture is willing to make this offer, so why give him one fight and let him go “free and clear?” To potentially gross a few million more dollars in revenue off one show, only to let Randy go and fight Fedor on a competitor’s show? It doesn’t make much sense when they could just continue to tie him up in the court system.
If it does happen, who would he fight? I already argued in the previous post why it’s highly probable that it wouldn’t be Fedor. What about Nogueira? It seems like the logical fight, but if Randy won, they wouldn’t let him leave with the title, so we can pretty much rule that one out.
The only scenario I could see the UFC considering is a fight with Brock Lesnar. It was reported today that Lesnar lost his opponent for UFC 91, so there is an empty spot. Considering how dominating Lesnar looked against Herring, perhaps the UFC thinks Lesnar will beat him, which is really the only way I see this working out in their favor. It wouldn’t make sense for it to be a title fight, but the masses have pretty much forgotten that Randy technically is the UFC Heavyweight Champion, so they could just internally strip him, never mention it, and probably get away with it rather easily. The downside to that though is if Randy did win, they just killed the momentum they had in building up Lesnar into a bigger draw than he already is, and Randy is still free to go fight Fedor.
This could get very interesting.