With Chael Sonnen preparing for a title shot and Dan Henderson slated for a possible No. 1 contender's bout, the fight between the two Team Quest products could be closer to reality than most think. Since they're both good friends, would they fight? Randy Couture seems to think so.
While Randy Couture is comfortably retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) after a career that saw him become a multi-time champion in two different weight classes as well as earn an induction into the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Fame, his two good friends and training partners Chael Sonnen and Dan Henderson are in the thick of the light heavyweight title mix.
From their days training together at Team Quest in Oregon, all three men have found tremendous success throughout their long and decorated MMA careers.
Couture may be past the competition phase of his career, but Sonnen and Henderson are still battling it out at the highest level of the sport.
Sonnen is currently coaching The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show opposite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and will square off against "Bones" on April 27 of next year.
Henderson, on the other hand, is awaiting confirmation on a date for a bout against Lyoto Machida that will very likely determine the next No. 1 contender at 205 pounds, as well as the man who will face the Sonnen-Jones winner.
Should both men emerge victorious in their upcoming bouts, a collision course could potentially be on the horizon. If that's the case and push comes to shove, Couture thinks Sonnen and Henderson would step in the cage against each other and throw down.
"Yeah I think they'd fight," Couture said of Sonnen and Henderson in a recent interview with Cage Junkies. "They've wrestled each other for a spot on the Olympic team, they're wrestlers at the end of the day and now they're fighters, they're professionals, this is what we do."
When you think of some of some of the best wrestlers in mixed martial arts, three of the main names that come to mind, past or present, are Couture, Sonnen and Henderson. Spending years on the wrestling mat going up against multiple opponents a day, some of which could be acquaintances, has prepared both Sonnen and Henderson for a potential showdown.
Couture doesn't believe the fight would be about one man inflicting damage on the other, but instead it would be about finding out who is the best competitor and superior mixed martial artist.
"I think they'd be friends before, they'd be friends after but they'd go out there and compete and they know each other pretty well and it'd be an interesting competition," Couture explained. "I think they'd both put it on the line and fight when it came down to it."
While Couture is certainly entitled to his opinion, Sonnen believes Henderson is more than simply a friend; he is a coach and someone who helped shape his career. And fighting "Hendo" would be too much to ask, even for Sonnen, a man who claims he's never turned down a fight.
"Dan's more than a friend so that's a little bit different," Sonnen said of fighting Henderson in an interview with The Fight Nerd last January. "You're asking me to fight one of my coaches, you're asking me to fight a guy who helped train me, to teach me what I know, that's a significant difference than fighting a friend. You're talking about a student versus a master type situation ... I think that's more than they could ask of anybody."
Sonnen was adamant a fight against Henderson would be too much, but that was last January, and in the world of mixed martial arts things can change overnight.
For a Sonnen vs. Henderson fight to ever take place, a number of cards would have to fall into place. As of now, the two are still buddies, with Henderson reportedly helping Sonnen out as an assistant coach on The Ultimate Fighter.
If the fight did happen, though, Couture thinks it would be a tough one to call. However, being close friends with both men wouldn't stop him from taking in the show.
"Gosh, it'd be a tough one to pick," he said. "I'd be up in the nosebleeds for that one."