Though it seemed Randy Couture had announced his retirement from mixed martial arts in 140 characters or less, the 47-year-old former UFC champion clarified to ESPN.com that he has no intention at this time of hanging up his gloves.
Posting on his Twitter page Tuesday evening, Couture wrote, “Thanks to everybody who’s been tweeting about seeing my fights. I must have missed the memo. I think I’m at the end of it y’all. It’s time.”
But both Couture, who has won multiple championships in multiple divisions in the UFC, and his attorney, Sam Spira, explained that no announcement has been made regarding Couture’s future in the cage.
“I’ve been saying in interviews for two months that it’s time for me to move on and focus on the other stuff in my life,” said Couture, who has concentrated on acting when he’s not fighting. “For some reason because I wrote it instead of said it, everyone’s going on about it.”
He is expected to reprise his role as Toll Road for Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables II,” which begins production in 2011.
Couture declined two fights in as many months, including, ESPN.com confirmed, a bout against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. But he explained that if he was offered an opportunity to face Lyoto Machida or a title shot against UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, he would be inclined to say yes.
However, with Machida coming off consecutive losses, Couture (19-10) doesn’t believe the UFC will offer him the bout. And he said the UFC is unlikely to give him a “straight-up title shot” versus Rua, who is rumored to be fighting Rashad Evans in March.
Couture last fought in August, when he introduced former boxing champion James Toney to MMA with a first-round submission.
Couture previously announced a “retirement” from MMA in 2005 after suffering his second knockout loss to Chuck Liddell. Yet he was lured back to competition with the opportunity to fight then-UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, a bout Couture dominated for five rounds.
“No official statement has or will be made,” Couture said. “This is just how I feel.”
Josh Gross covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.