Randy Couture, a UFC Hall of Fame member and former champion at both light heavyweight and heavyweight, is out of the ICU after being hospitalized following a heart attack.
A scary moment for MMA fans, as Randy Couture has suffered a heart attack. However, with it comes some good news, as a new report suggests ‘The Natural’ will make a full recovery.
TMZ reported Thursday that the former champ, who since retiring has turned to acting (The Expendables franchise) and commentary duties with the Profeesional Fighters League, had walked to hospital and checked himself in after feeling “off” following a workout. Couture was admitted to the Los Angeles-area hospital and determined to have suffered a heart attack, which led to a stay in the intensive care unit. However, per a report from MMA Fighting, Couture is at least out of intensive card.
Couture (19-11) last fought in 2011 in Toronto, Ontario at UFC 129. The former champ was knocked out by a crane kick by Lyoto Machida, and retired following the bout. However, Couture’s run in the UFC was examplary. He made his debut at UFC 13 in 1997, winning the heavyweight tournament at that event.
After defeating Vitor Belfort at UFC 15, Couture defeated Maurice Smith at UFC Japan to win the heavyweight title, although he would later vacate the belt. After spending time fighting in Japan, he’d return in 2000 to reclaim the heavyweight title at UFC 28. Couture defended the title twice before losing it, but in 2003 he’d win the interim light heavyweight championship by defeating Chuck Liddell. He’d unify the 205lb belts at UFC 44 that same year, defeating Tito Ortiz. He’d then trade a pair of fights with Vitor Belfort, losing and regaining the belt, before losing it again to Chuck Liddell at UFC 57.
In 2007, Couture returned to heavyweight, defeating Tim Sylvia to reclaim the championship there. He’d defend the belt once before losing it to Brock Lesnar.
Couture’s son Ryan is also a professional fighter, and has competed for both the UFC and Bellator MMA.
While Couture remains hospitalized, MMA Fighting’s report cited a person with knowledge of the situation who stated that the MMA legend is expected to make a full recovery.
Update, 5:45PM ET: Randy Couture has released the following statement (h/t MMAFighting).
“Contrary to recent rumors, I have not kicked the bucket yet. I am alive and well. Special thanks to the amazing staff at Cedars Sinai Hospital. From the ER to cardiac ICU thanks for taking care of me.
“I’m one of those people that has crazy thick blood and nominally high bad cholesterol. Unfortunately, those 2 factors combined to create a nice clot including my diagonal artery. The (catheterization laboratory) at Cedars got right on it, cleared it out and placed a stent in its place.
“Thanks to all of you out there expressing your concern. Your love and support mean the world to me and my family. Live your lives to the fullest. You never know when you’ll draw that last breath in!”