Ah, Bleacher Report...it feels good to be back. Though some of you may not care, I haven't written an article here in roughly two months because of some things going on with a new work schedule. I've had the time to comment on some articles here and there, but nothing much else.
Hopefully, you'll all enjoy my "comeback" article. :)
My question is simple: What is next for "The Natural"?
I ask this question on the basis that he beats Big Nog this Saturday, since I think that is what will happen. I see Randy pulling out a decision at 102, so it makes me wonder about his future in the sport.
He could stay in the heavyweight division and try and push himself for one last title fight, but I don't think that's best for him.
The only two heavyweight champions we're going to have for the foreseeable future are Shane Carwin and Brock Lensar. It's already been shown that Randy is simply too small to compete with that class of heavyweight.
Personally, I'd like to see him drop back down to light heavyweight. There are a couple of big money fights there for him if he wants them. Specifically, I'm talking about Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva.
Both of them are puzzles that other fighters have yet to solve. Why not let one of MMA's best game planners have a crack at them? Anderson Silva especially needs some competition for his last few UFC fights.
Couture would be a big money fight that people would love to see and would help cement both fighters' legacies even further. It's a win-win.
Lyoto is more of a longshot since he hasn't cleaned his division out, much less even defended his title. But if Couture is still around in a year or two and Lyoto is still running through opponents, why not? It's another big money fight and something that I know I would pay to see.
Obviously, there are many other options for Couture besides what I've presented here. He could simply retire after 102, win or lose, and concentrate on Hollywood, his clothing and his gym. He could become a commentator for the UFC or Strikeforce.
He could also leave the UFC after his contract is up and try to fight Fedor in Strikeforce or elsewhere, which I think may be his ultimate goal, even if he's almost 50 by the time it happens.
He has plenty of options after 102. His status in the sport and his mainstream appeal affords him more avenues than most other fighters. My only hope is that he keeps fighting as long as possible. He's a true living legend and I love watching him fight.
Hope you enjoyed my article, folks. Not all that insightful, but I felt like writing something. :)