Couture’s storied career ends with one swift kick at UFC 129

TORONTO — With one quick, violent kick, one of the great careers in the history of the sport of Mixed Martial Arts came to an abrupt end.

Randy Couture was sent into retirement 65 seconds into the second round of his semi-main event against Lyoto Machida with a wicked front kick. The 47-year-old Couture, whose career ends with a 19-11 mark, lost a tooth from the kick.

It was the second time in three events that a front kick ended a fight. Anderson Silva TKO’d Vitor Belfort with a similar kick at UFC 127. Silva said afterward that action movie star Steven Segal taught him the kick. Machida was asked if Segal had taught him the kick.

“I train this kick a lot,” Machida said in response. “I had it in my arsenal.”

After the fight was stopped, Couture jumped to his feet and basked in the glow of 55,000 chanting his name in appreciation. Couture was not at the post-event press conference as he was being examined at a local hospital. However, before he left the Rogers Centre, Couture told the crowd that “this is it.  

“The fans have always treated me great, but to go out on that ovation was very special.”

He was equally gracious towards the man that retired him. Of Machida, who improved to 17-2, Couture said, “He’s a tremendous fighter. It felt like I was standing still out there and he caught me with a great kick.”

Couture had announced in a conference call with reporters 10 days ago that he believed this would be his last time inside the octagon.

Yet, as important as the fight was to Couture, it was equally vital to Machida, who had suffered consecutive losses to Shogun Rua and Quinton Jackson. A third loss and while he wouldn’t be out of title picture, he wouldn’t be the first in line to meet champion Jon Jones.  

“I felt a lot of pressure coming off back to back losses. I wanted to show the best of Lyoto Machida,” said Machida, who earned the $129,000 Knockout of the Night bonus. “I came here to win the fight.”

Which he did. Still, Jones has a date with Rashad Evans once the champion recovers from a torn ligament in his right hand, and Rua and Jackson are ahead of Machida in the division. So there are potential rematches for Machida.

“One of the top guys in the division,” Dana White said of Machida before noting that one win over Couture did not make him the top contender. “There are a lot of possibilities.”


 Hominick a winner even in defeat

Among the varied fascinating aspects in sports is how, on occasion, a team or an athlete comes out looking better in the eyes of fans and media for losing.

Add Mark Hominick to that list.

“I fought hard for you guys and I hope you (enjoyed) the fight,” Hominick said in an in-octagon interview after the Thamesford, Ontario, native dropped a unanimous decision to UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo at Saturday’s UFC 129 semi-main event in a valiant effort that had the Rogers Centre crowd of 55,000 on its feet and screaming in delirious disbelief.

He need not have worried. Hominick and Aldo each earned a $129,000 bonus for Fight of the Night. It very well could be that they collaborated on the UFC Fight of the Year.

What made Hominick’s endeavor memorable was that he had a grotesque welt over his right eye and was bleeding from his left eye. The crowd at the Rogers Centre audibly gasped three times during the fourth round when cameras showed the welt visibly growing while Hominick was pressed against the cage.

“I want to say to my wife that I hope I didn’t put you into labor. I know you’re due any minute,” Hominick said. “I love you, babe, and I hope that you’re okay.”

“I’m sure he did. Have to imagine so,” UFC President Dana White said when asked if Hominick received medical treatment, before joking that the organization “shouldn’t be allowed to run (another event) in Toronto if we sent him home like that.”

Referee John McCarthy stopped the fight for a few minutes while the octagon-side doctor examined Hominick. Hominick persuaded the doctor that he could continue, which elicited an enthusiastic roar from a provincial crowd that wanted to see one of their own become champion. Hominick pressed the attack in the fifth round with a flurry of punches as Aldo was on his back.

“I was very comfortable in that position,” Aldo said through a translator. “I knew I had won the first four rounds.”

The enthusiastic roar increased to deafening levels and caused journalists in the Rogers Centre press box to cheer and give Hominick a standing ovation following the fight. Hominick’s record dropped to 20-9 while Aldo moved to 19-1. White said that he believes Aldo will be on the card for Augusts’ UFC 133 in Philadelphia, and hinted that the opponent may be Chad Mendes. Mendes will have a near impossible time trying to equal Hominick’s performance.

“I never underestimate Mark Hominick. I knew he had heavy hands,” praised Aldo. “Hominick was a super tough fighter.”

And in the process may have become a star.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.

Local

Report: Rich New Yorkers don't move from NYC…

An Independent Budget Office analysis found that the wealthiest residents don't move out of the city any more or less than other New Yorkers.

National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Food truck with a mission hires at-risk New…

A group branding itself as food trucks for social justice specifically hires and trains young men and women with troubled pasts.

Movies

Scarlett Johansson: “I guess I’m the reluctant action…

We’re always told that the brain is the most complex instrument in the world and new movie “Lucy” proves just why it’s such a force…

Movies

Review: Liking Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'…

Woody Allen's latest, "Magic in the Moonlight," concerns a magician (Colin Firth) trying to debunk an alleged psychic (Emma Stone).

Movies

Piano from 'Casablanca' up for sale at auction

An iconic piano featured in Rick's Cafe Americain in the 1942 Hollywood classic "Casablanca" is expected to be the highlight of a sale of film…

Music

Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks more accessible than Animal…

Believe it or not, Avey Tare — the man in the mustachioed mask pictured here in the pool of blood — may have made the poppiest music of his career.

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

Parenting

Buy gently worn back-to-school clothes with Kidizen

Kidizen allows parents to buy and sell gently worn back-to-school clothes.

Wellbeing

Ruling could be beginning of the end for…

This morning, a federal appeals court threw out an IRS regulation that implements subsidies for low-income Americans who bought insurance through Obamacare. These Affordable Care…

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…