Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Randy Couture says he's ready for Tim Sylvia

By Mike Chiappetta

Q: You're just about two weeks away from returning to the UFC. How are you feeling and how's your training going?
A: I'm feeling great. Everything's coming into place. My condition's where it should be. I've been pushing some great big guys around now for five weeks and finally starting to feel comfortable with the size, the weight-difference and getting the positions that I'm striving to get in the gameplan for Tim, so it's been very, very good.

Q: Tim is 6-foot-8 and 264 pounds. It can't be easy to find guys close to that size to train with.
A: No, it's not. You can find them as heavy, but not as tall. I've got [MMA veterans] Wes Sims and Dan Christison, who are both 6-foot-8. I have Seth Woodill, who's a former wrestler who's had some fights. He's 6-5, 290. Then I have [UFC star] Frank Mir and Eric Pele. They're a little shorter, but above 270 pounds, so I've definitely had some beef to push around, or try to push around.

Q: When did you start getting the itch to return to the octagon?
A: I retired in February, but by the time the end of summer rolled around, I'd kind of had enough of traveling all over, flashing my pearly whites and doing appearances to make money and to get my other businesses up and running.

Every time I got to go back in the gym, I felt as happy as a pig in you-know-what. Then I got the opportunity to grapple in the Professional Submission League event, the LA Sub X [he fought to a draw against Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza], and that kind solidified it for me. I had such a good time competing again and felt like physically I felt great. That kind of made my mind up that given the right opportunity, I'd jump all over climbing back in and fighting.

Q: So even though you were officially retired, you were still getting calls about potential matchups?
A: [UFC President] Dana White had been calling me every month since I retired saying, 'Bull----, you're not retiring! When are you coming back?' They'd thrown a couple things at me that just didn't work out. For one reason or another, they didn't pan out. But then this thing with Tim Sylvia came up and I didn't have to think about it long. I said, 'yeah, let's do that.'

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