Anyone who's been through a breakup knows daily tasks like going to work and being productive can be a difficult task. Imagine if you're a fighter. You have to put aside the heartbreak and angst, and make sure that you're motivated each day to put in the time. And forget about fight night. There is no room mental distractions when there's a trained fighter across the way waiting to rip your head off. Randy Couture has had to deal with this challenge for the last three months in prepping for Saturday's fight at UFC 102 against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. If anyone can handle it, it's a guy nicknamed "The Natural". His wife Kim Couture painted a picture before last week's Strikeforce event that everything was hunky dory. When Larry Pepe from ProMMARadiospoke with Randy, he didn't come across with the same tone:
"I don't know that we ever got off on the right foot. We were under a lot of things in the beginning and never really got on the same page. There was a lot of scrutiny especially on Kim and I think that affected her in a lot of adverse ways."
Pepe, the Barbara Walters of the MMA media, continued down the same path asking about Kim's fighting career:
"She kind of forayed into the sport and trying to fight, and in some ways that became bigger and more important to her than a lot of other things."
The couple was seen together getting lunch at the San Jose Marriott before the Gina Carano-Cyborg Santos fight. Kim, a good buddy of Carano's, was in town to watch the fight and Randy was cornering her.
"Friday before she did that interview [with Fanhouse's Ariel Helwani] was the first time we had spoke to each other in quite some time. For her to just flip the switch and think everything's okay, was kind of interesting to me."
"I think being separate and keeping things separate is what needs to happen. What she does with her career moving forward, is kind of up to her. I don't know that I'll be playing any part in that. Just a little over a week ago we weren't even on very good speaking terms. It's kind of premature for her to make a statement like that."
That said Randy is worried Kim is in too deep on the fighting end:
"My genuine concern is someone is going to exploit the last name she's dragging around and get her in over her head."
Kim was rumored to fight 135-pound star Miesha Tate in her next fight. That would be a big leap for someone with two professional fights.
In the midst of Randy breaking down some of the drama with the relationship and impending divorce, he was also quick to say that it hasn't affected the prep for the fight at all. We'll find out on Saturday night. If it's had zero effect, then Couture really is "The Natural."
- Randy Couture
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira