Watching Chuck Liddell get knocked out prompted Randy Couture to call it quits

PHOENIX - AUGUST 13: Randy Couture watches the Strikeforce Challengers Main Card bout at Dodge Theater on August 13 2010 in Phoenix Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Why is Randy Couture fighting Lyoto Machida at UFC 129?

Well, what else is left for "The Natural" at this stage of his career? UFC Hall-of-Famer, five-time champion across two different weight classes, pay-per-view commentator, actor, trainer, and the one man who can refer to himself as "Captain America" and still be taken seriously.

To that end, the hoopla surrounding his upcoming fight against "The Dragon," to Couture, will be his pre-fight retirement party, as the April 30 co-main event in Toronto will be his final appearance as a mixed martial artist.

And he has Chuck Liddell to thank for that.

That's because "The Iceman" hung around a bit too long, trying to stay competitive in a weight class that long since passed him by. Liddell retired after losing five of his last six fights including three straight (T)KO finishes before hanging up the gloves for good.

Couture tells ESPN.co.uk that he won't allow himself to go out on anyone's terms but his own.

"I felt horrible for Chuck. Everybody was chatting about him retiring. He's been such an amazing champion and he had such an aura around him. To have him drop the last couple in the way he did, it just sucked. The way the fans talked about him, it was very disappointing. I felt bad for him. There had to be an end. I'm not crazy. I'm not nuts. I realize it's not going to last forever. So why not take control and do it on my terms? When I want to do it and not because I've been knocked out the last three times and nobody wants to see me get beat up again? I never want to have that conversation with anybody."

The UFC Hall of Famer and multi-time (and multi-division) champion is coming off a submission win over bloated boxing braggart James Toney back at UFC 118 and has won three straight as his career winds to a close. 

Can he slay "The Dragon" before he leaves MMA for good?

Let's hear your prediction for this bout -- along with your pick for "The Natural's" best fight.

Creaming Tim Sylvia? Spanking Ortiz? Clowning Liddell?

Sound off!

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