Randy "The Natural" Couture suffered a rough loss at the hands of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 102. Couture may not have managed to win the bout, but he did go all three rounds and was still able to impress the boss.
"Even in losing, Couture looked good," UFC President Dana White said.
The 46-year-old MMA legend looked so good, in fact, that he earned a $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus. He also managed to agree to terms on a brand new deal that will see him fight in the UFC for the next few years.
At the post-fight press conference after UFC 102, White announced that Couture had signed a brand spanking new 28-month, six-fight agreement. If you're not good at math—like me—that means that by the time this deal will most likely be over, Couture would be 48 years old. In a young man's game, that is monumental.
Couture was pretty tight-lipped about whom he might like to fight next in the Octagon. He expressed interest in taking "interesting" fights, not specifying whether he would fight in the heavyweight or light heavyweight division.
The Natural has fought in the light heavyweight division before. In fact, at the weigh-ins before his fight with Nogueira, Couture weighed in at 220 pounds. That's just 15 pounds over the limit for the Light Heavyweight division.
There are a lot of intriguing fights awaiting Couture in that division. Fight fans everywhere would love to see him take on light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, as well as a whole myriad of other great fighters including Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin, and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Even though many fight fans would love to see a rematch with Brock Lesnar for the Heavyweight belt as well, no matter who Couture fights, mixed martial arts fans will tune in to see the legend do battle. Saturday night in Portland, the ovation that Couture got was rival to the ones given to the most legendary figures in entertainment.
"That was like concert loud. My ears are still ringing after that one," proclaimed White. "It was really cool."
Really cool only begins to describe a 46-year-old fighter who continues to impress inside the Octagon, and as he gets older fans will only continue to cheer him on with the ovations only becoming louder and louder.