Jesse Holland (MMAmania.com): From a publicity standpoint, your bout with James Toney is being considered a "Boxing vs. MMA" match. How much of your legacy is at risk by taking on this challenge?
Randy Couture: There's no risk. I don't understand why people keep saying that. How is it a risk? This is a fight that garners a whole bunch of eyes from the boxing world as well as other areas and can bring new fans over to MMA.
JH: Well in a worst case scenario you could lose, and if the public perception is that a five-time MMA champion falls to an aging boxer with no cage experience-
RC: James Toney poses all kinds of problems. There's a lot of unknowns coming into this fight, not just for him, but for me as well. Look at what he's accomplished in the sport of boxing, some of the names he's beaten. He's a dangerous opponent and I think an interesting opponent. The bottom line is there's a lot more going on in this sport than whether I win or lose.
JH: Is there still a drive to compete for the light heavyweight title and if so, how does the James Toney bout help or hinder your progress?
RC: It's about interesting fights for me. "Shogun" Rua is a hell-of-an interesting fight for me. Machida was and still is, an interesting cat, title or no title, the way he fights. There's so many guys who would make a great match-up. I'm just happy to be competing against guys my size and not these monsters in the heavyweight division like Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez. But I'm still confident that I could hold my own at either weight.
JH: With so many to choose from, and your clout within the MMA community, can you just burst into Dana's office and say "Hey, I'm ‘The Natural' and this is who I want to fight, make it happen."
RC: (Laughs) Well, I don't think anyone is bursting into his office, but I'll text him and say "Hey, I want to fight this guy" or "This looks like an interesting match-up for me." In the end it's still a business and they have to make a business decision about what fights to put on.
JH: You've had so many memorable battles in your career but you're not exactly the most animated guy before and after a fight. While we may not have been able to see it, was there ever a fight where you stepped into the cage and said to yourself "Man, F- this guy, this time it's personal."
RC: Nah, I've never had any personal fights. I think that's a mistake.
JH: And how much longer can you keep this up? I know it's hard to quantify, especially since you're feeling good and you've won two straight, but there has to be a number somewhere in the back of your mind.
RC: One fight at time. I'll evaluate my performances, my training, as long as I hold up and do what I gotta do I'll keep going. I'm happy, so I'll just keep plugging away and having a blast doing it.
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