Couture vs Lesnar couldnt have been any better for the UFC and Zuffa. If Couture had won, he would have been the man that beat a younger, faster, stronger, bigger, and most of all more athletic man. Lesnar winning left the UFC in an even better position. Now their heavy weight champion is the man that finally put away the ageless wonder that was "Captain America" Randy Couture.
Is "was" the proper wording though? Randy IS 45 years old, but does that mean everything? His age didnt prove to be a factor in the fight, the size difference didnt even really seal his fate.
He was caught, he tried to slip a punch but failed to do so. Same thing happened to GSP against Serra, and look at GSP now. Randy Couture has the ability to impose his will on anyone, Tim Sylvia, Gonzaga, even out punch Chuck Liddell in their first meeting. How could someone with such ability walk away even at 45 years old?
He can't walk away, and probably wont. He wouldve been truthful with reporters when the question came up. He knew that it was going to come up, he had plenty of time to think about it. Question is where does he go?
Does he stay at heavy weight? Fight Gonzaga again? Does he look for a rematch with Lesnar? Maybe he fights Frank Mir after the Nog/Mir fight. What it comes down to is that he isnt a very big heavy weight and he probably wont to stay there.
As he did before I'll be willing to guess he's going to drop the weight and fight at 205. Fact of the matter is heavy weights are truly heavy weights now. Though, guys like Couture and Verra can stand and survive weighing 220, your best bet is to drop the weight.
Who does he fight after he drops down? The once stacked LHW division is slowly turning sour. Guys like Liddell, Alexander, Verra, Silva, Ortiz, Rua, Jardine, Bonnar, Hamill aren't thought of by many to be in the thick of things for a title shot at the moment. Machida, Thiago Silva, and Rampage are your only contenders if you ask this guy.
Does Couture want to fight his way through a thicket of guys to get a shot? No. He's 45, hes ageless not god. If he were to fight his way through the division he could be looking at 4+ fights, thats at the quickest a year. He could be 46-47 before he gets his next shot.
Let him drop the weight to 205, fight someone like Rua or another elite fighter that is at least close to a title shot. If he wins put him against whoever sits atop the contender list mid '09 and have a title shot by next November. This gives him time to recoop if he needs it, and gives the UFC their big fights that people want to see.
Couture is a crowed gatherer. The man can come out on top no matter what, hes entertaining and an all around nice dude. People love to see him fight, the new UFC, since Pride was abolished is the stomping grounds for possible Super fights! Lets see some more. Henderson v Silva, Liddell v Silva, Penn v GSP 2, Couture v Lesner, let's see Couture in there a few more times.