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UFC 73: Tito Ortiz to train with Randy Couture in Big Bear

ufc 74 randy coutureNote: This report turned out to be inaccurate. For more details click here.

UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture will head up to the mountains of Big Bear, Calif., into the Team Punishment lair to help Tito Ortiz train for his upcoming bout with Rashad Evans at UFC 73: "Stacked," according to a recent interview with

Here's a snip for "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy:"

"... Randy and I will probably be training for this fight with Rashad, he might come up to Big Bear for a little bit.... It just comes down to having a great training partner in Couture and he's going to help me with this fight so I am excited to train with him and I think it will really help me out and bring me to a new level with my wrestling."

Couture and Ortiz met inside the Octagon at UFC 44: "Undisputed" with the light heavyweight belt on the line in 2003. "The Natural" put on a dominant performance en route to a unanimous decision victory after five rounds.

It was the last time Ortiz would ever be able to call the title his. And it's no secret that he has been on a mission to reclaim it ever since — he talks about it incessantly.

If Couture does indeed help out Ortiz, it could pay huge dividends.

Not taking anything away from Matt Hamill, Kendall Grove, Melvin Guillard or any of the other full-time Team Punishment members, but how do those young fighters push a veteran like Ortiz to the next level?

Karo Parisyan, Dean Lister, Josh Burkman, Justin McCully and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson also check in from time-to-time.

Without a doubt, it's a fine collection of mixed martial artists. However, not one of them has had championship-caliber success and experience inside the cage.

Enter "The Natural."

Couture has not only lifted the strap on more than a few occasions, but he has also soundly beat the man he could very well end up training (Tito), as well as the man Ortiz is ultimately training to beat, Chuck Liddell.

It's not a silver-bullet solution to getting Ortiz back on top of the heap — especially not in this sport.

But bringing in Couture is one of the smartest moves Ortiz has made in a very long time. It's perhaps just what he needs to push himself over the hump that is almost four years in the making.

(Props to Luke over at -- the site where I first came across the interview).

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