Randy Couture thought Vitor Belfort ‘was intimidated’ at UFC 15
The very first genuine chapter in what ended up being the legend of Randy Couture decreased at UFC 15 on Oct. 17, 1997.
There are lots of reasons that “The Natural” is a UFC Hall of Famer. He was the very first male to win UFC titles in various weight classes, and his 5 combined UFC title rules — 3 at heavyweight, 2 at light heavyweight — stays a business record. Couture likewise developed among the all-time terrific minutes in UFC history when he came out of retirement to beat Tim Sylvia and win the heavyweight belt at UFC 68 at age 43.
Couture made his Mixed Martial Arts launching at UFC 13, winning 2 battles in one night to declare the heavyweight competition. However his very first genuine famous minute was he scored what at the time was thought about a significant upset of an unbeaten Vitor Belfort at UFC 15, which was kept in Bay St. Louis, Miss.
And it just made good sense Couture talked to Burt Watson on a brand-new edition of Legend 2 Legend about the bout, which Couture won by means of TKO in 8:16.
A young Belfort was called “The Phenom” for a reason. He was considered a superstar in waiting, having won all four of his previous fights, including three in the UFC, via TKO or KO, with the longest bout lasting 77 seconds.
But Belfort made Couture, who walked very first, wait in the cage for 10 minutes before officials had to order him out of his locker room. And in his head, that told Couture that Belfort was doubting himself.
“I’m in the cage, they play the entrance music, and nobody comes out of the tunnel,” Couture told Burt Watson. “And I stayed in the cage for about 10 minutes. And there was no opponent. … And in my mind right away I thought ‘he’s just scared.’ This is something that somebody who is scared to come out and compete would do. That’s what I thought.
“That’s an old boxing trick, you freeze the guy out, you make him stand there and wait, and you get in his head that way. I thought it had the opposite effect. For me, in my mind, he was intimidated. He was scared.”
From there, the fight was on, and the result sent reverberations around the sport that was then known as “No Holds Barred.” After defeating Belfort, Couture then went out at UFC 19 and defeated Mark Coleman to win the heavyweight belt and claim the first of his five titles.
To hear more from Couture on one of the first truly famous minutes in UFC history, take a look at the video above.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.