This is vintage Randy Couture wrestling David Ridpath in Baumholder, West Germany on the Baumholder Army Base in 1986 for the US Army Europe Wrestling Championships.
This match was in the 90 kilo (198 pound weight class) in Greco and freestyle. Randy went on to win the tournament and was invited to try out for the All Army team and compete in the interservice championships.
We asked Mr. Ridpath for a few comments on the video and what he remembered and here is what he had to say.
“While I considered myself a pretty good wrestler, it was humbling to face someone the caliber of Randy because it simply was no contest, however I always seemed to be good enough to meet him in championship matches of tournaments (I am not sure if that says good things about me or the rest of the competition was substandard—but overall the competition was good and of a high international caliber). My problem—especially in this video, because I think it was the final time we competed against each other, is that I had wrestled him probably 12-15 times over the course of 3 years before this match and as much as I hate to admit it, I was probably defeated before we shook hands. I only went the distance with Randy once—in a freestyle match, but the score was still 10-3 or something like that. Still at the end of every match, he was gracious, would always give me advice, and has always been a friend.
What most I remember about this particular tournament was that I took third place in both classifications and that I decided to retire after that, but I knew Randy was poised for bigger and better things. Only the top 2 were invited to try out for the All Army team and compete in the interservice championships. So it was a little disappointing to end that way for me but I moved on to coaching and officiating for a few years.
While it is somewhat shocking to see what Randy has become internationally because he is freaking famous—I really should not be surprised because I have met few people who are as driven and who have as much heart. While he is talented, he simply was always able to beat more talented wrestlers because of his heart and motivation. He and I attended several wrestling camps together, and he was the one always up first, running before practice, etc. I am sure this is no surprise to you. Although I still have some physical pain from wrestling Randy—my matches with him will always be a fond memory.”
For any Couture fan this is a true piece of history and we want to thanks Mr. Ridpath for giving us the video.