Randy Couture told Breitbart Sports that a third “generation” of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contenders has arisen. Many new UFC fighters were still inspired by Couture’s win over Tim Sylvia in 2007 to claim his sixth world title in the most punishing sport in the world at the age of 43.
Couture is leading a Poker Ride Memorial Day weekend to benefit wounded soldiers (see separate story).
“The first generation of UFC fighters wanted to prove that their style of fighting was the best,” Couture said. “I came in on the cusp of the second generation of fighting, where people realized no one fighting style had all the answers. I came out of a Greco-Roman background, but I realized I needed to cross-train and learn the other techniques to be successful.”
Dubbed “The Legend,” Couture believes the sport is now benefitting from a “third generation” that has grown up always wanting to be Mixed Martial Arts fighters first and foremost.
“Now we have a third generation that grew up watching UFC fighters and that is always what they have wanted to do. They didn’t care about black belts,” he said. “More and more they just wanted to be UFC fighters.”
Couture also believes the fans have learned the sport due to reality shows like his next, “Fight Master: Bellator MMA,” which will appear on Spike.
“The reality shows have helped to break down the misconceptions. When people first started watching UFC it seemed like a no-holds barred event … early on it looked like all the fighters were crazy,” he said. “Actually there are a lot of techniques, and the reality shows have let people see the fighters behind the scenes.”