• UFC 129

Liddell inspired Couture's decision to retire

ESPN staff
April 21, 2011

Randy Couture has confessed that his decision to retire is inspired by the tough-to-watch latter stages of Chuck Liddell's career.

Couture, who has retired in the past only to be tempted back into the Octagon, insists Lyoto Machida will be his final battle at UFC 129 next week.

Pressed on his reasons for stopping, the 47-year-old cited Liddell, who lost five of his final six fights to taint an outstanding career. Liddell's final defeat saw him get knocked out by Rich Franklin, despite Franklin having a broken arm, and Couture admits he does not want to have the MMA world pleading with him to stop.

"I felt horrible for Chuck," Couture told ESPN. "Everybody was chatting about him retiring. He's been such an amazing champion and he had such an aura around him.

"To have him drop the last couple in the way he did, it just sucked. The way the fans talked about him, it was very disappointing. I felt bad for him."

Focusing on his own situation, Couture explained: "There had to be an end. I'm not crazy. I'm not nuts. I realize it's not going to last forever.

"So why not take control and do it on my terms? When I want to do it and not because I've been knocked out the last three times and nobody wants to see me get beat up again? I never want to have that conversation with anybody."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.