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Flex December 2007 Excerpt: Day In The Life: Randy Couture!

FLEX follows UFC legend Randy Couture through a day of training as he continues his successful return from retirement. Here's an excerpt from the December 2007 issue of FLEX magazine.

Day In The Life: Randy Couture
Spend A Day With Randy Couture As The UFC Heavyweight Champ Prepares To Defend His Title At UFC 74.

It started as a joke between friends.

Then, in the form of a text message, as a playful rib at another. Only that other didn't take it as such. Minutes after a retired Randy Couture had sent that text message, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White was on the other line.

"It was a smart-@ss text saying I could beat [UFC heavyweight champ Tim] Sylvia," Couture says. "I expected him to text me back and give me a bunch of s-t. But he called me instantly. You make the offhanded comment, you got to back it up."

So ended Couture's one-year retirement from the sport in which he had become a legend. When he returned to the octagon 10 weeks later, as almost a 3-to-1 underdog against the 6'8" giant Sylvia for the heavyweight title at UFC 68, it was not only a chance for the Hall of Famer to add to his legend, but, at 43 years old, to cement it. The one thing that would prove to be more surprising than the age at which he did it was the way in which he did.

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Randy "The Natural" Couture Vs. Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia.
View More Pics From The 2007 Arnold Classic UFC Here.

In that fight Couture knocked Sylvia down with a straight right to the jaw that, for all intents and purposes, ended the bout 15 seconds after it began, leaving the official decision - which came unanimously in Couture's favor 24 minutes and 45 seconds later - a mere formality in the eyes of most.

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Couture Pounds Sylvia!
View More Pics From The 2007 Arnold Classic UFC Here.

Nearly five months later, Randy "The Natural" Couture once again finds himself the underdog as he prepares to defend his belt against Gabriel Gonzaga in Las Vegas at UFC 74. On July 31, 24 days before the 24th fight of Couture's career, FLEX sent a team - writer Allan Donnelly and photographer Terry Goodlad - to Las Vegas to spend a day with the most celebrated fighter in UFC history.

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Ground & Pound!
View More Pics From The 2007 Arnold Classic UFC Here.

9:50 AM When we walk to the far end of Xtreme Couture Gym, past the free weights and cardio equipment on the left and the 28-foot ring on the right, Randy Couture is alone inside the octagon that sits in the gym's northeast corner, jumping rope with a weighted rope. Outside the octagon, 6'2" Ron Frazier, one of Couture's trainers and corner men, greets us before joining Couture inside the cage.

Two short beeps sound off in the background, signaling the end to Couture's five-minute round of jumping rope. He moves over to the side and puts his arms over the top of the octagon, hanging his head down, looking up occasionally, not at anyone or anything in particular. When he turns around, Frazier is standing in the middle of the octagon holding a pair of boxing gloves and a pair of focus mitts.


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9:53 AM For the next 30 minutes, Frazier will put Couture through five five-minute rounds of work on the mitts. After each round, the two short beeps in the background signify the end of five minutes and Couture's subsequent one-minute rest. "The one minute," Frazier will say later, "is for me. I can give him 40 seconds and he'd be fine."

To find out how Couture spends the rest of his day, pick up the December issue of FLEX, on newsstands November 12.