Recently a boxing friend of mine made a remark that he doesn't know why Randy Couture is considered such a legend in the world of Mixed Martial Arts(MMA), he made this remark not long after former Boxing champion James Toney was totally dominated by Randy at UFC 118, maybe it was sour grapes, he claimed instead his record of 19 wins against 10 losses was not that great and if he had that type of record in boxing he wouldn't be considered a legend! So rather than try to argue with him that Randy's record much like fellow fighter BJ Penn isn't papered and that Randy only wants to fight the best fighters rather than notching up victories. So rather than try and explain that I decided the best thing would be for Randy Couture to tell my friend the story himself so i packed him off that day with a copy of this book which I have already read twice.
What a book it is, with many ups and downs not just in his fighting life but in his personal life too. Growing up without his dad around is dealt with early on in the book and Randy gives us the crazy story of how his dad left and how even though it was such a tragic moment in was in total awe of what his dad was able to do! Randy's time in the US army is covered as is his amateur wrestling career and interestingly enough his achievement in going to the Olympic games as an alternate and really what a let down it is to be an alternate!
Really if Mixed Martial Arts was made for one man it was Randy Couture and thankfully when he saw a video tape of Don Frye who was one of Randy's teammates at Oklahoma state fight on then upstart fight promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship it triggered an interest, even though first contact between the two parties ended up with Randy becoming an Alternate again!! as UFC at the time weren't interested in any more wrestlers. Of course it wouldn't be long before Randy would get the call to compete. The UFC was a much different place back then compared to today it was also before Dana White and the Fertita Brothers took it over. there wasn't the money their is now so Randy still had his eyes on the 2000 Olympic games. Randy describes what it was like back in the early days and how tough it was especially when they lost their Pay Per View contract as well as been banned in most states and not helped by Senator John McCain human cock fighting slur.
All his fights are covered including his trilogy with Chuck Liddell and his trilogy with Vitor Belfort, his famous fight with Tito Ortiz which will have you laughing as Randy describes the last round. His retirement is covered only to come back and shock the world. This is where there is a lot of similarities with BJ Penn who as UFC welterweight champion wanted to take the title and face the best around the world not just in the UFC, which is exactly what Randy wanted to do when he once again became UFC Heavyweight champion he longed to fight legendary Pride heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko this would lead to a long dispute between Randy and the UFC which is covered very well in the book, of course Randy would come back to fight Brock Lesnar in November 2008 which is where the book finishes.
His personal life is also very interesting as it deals with his relationships outside the Octagon including his 2 marriages, his family issues, his team mates and friends as well as opening his own gym Xtreme Couture. It also looks at his blossoming TV and Film career which since this book has been written has gone from strength to strength as he appeared in blockbuster movie The Expendables. Big praise must go to Randy to get Female Journalist Loretta Hunt to write this book with him as in a male dominated sport Loretta has held her own as one of the best journalist's in MMA today and has written for Sherdog.com which is the leading MMA site.
My friend returned the book some weeks later and admitted he was totally wrong about Randy and is now one of his biggest fans. This is an excellent well written book about one of only two fighters(bj penn being the other) to hold UFC titles in two different weight classes. The Natural, Captain America Randy Couture is a story that must be read.