It's official: Randy Couture fought Zuffa law and Zuffa law won ... kinda.
The 11-month legal drama that involved the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and its disgruntled heavyweight champion, Randy Couture, has been resolved.
Thank the almighty ... whoever that may be.
In an official conference call today, UFC President Dana White announced that the 45-year-old Hall of Fame inductee had agreed to an out-of-court new multi-fight contract. And, as speculated, will return against Brock Lesnar in the main event at UFC 91 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (not Portland, Ore.), in a five round fight for the heavyweight championship of the world.
The winner of the bout will be recognized as the heavyweight champion and fight the winner of the bout between UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira and Frank Mir to unify the title sometime after their bout on December 27.
This is quite a departure -- and a monumental breakthrough -- from the ugly break up that first began when Couture faxed in his resignation from a South African movie set in late 2007, citing poor pay, lack of respect and a desire to fight Fedor Emelianenko -- a high-profile free agent who the UFC was unable to sign.
He has sat on the sidelines ever since, hoping that his legal team could find him a way out of his ironclad contract. Either he eventually realized that it was impossible or would just take too long, which is more than likely the genesis behind his sudden shift in strategy.
Regardless, it’s great news that both parties were able to put their differences aside and broker a truce. Now Couture is on the clock to get into fighting shape -- he hasn't competed since a technical knockout win over Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74: "Respect" in August 2007.
Considering his age -- and upcoming opponent -- he’ll need to whack off any and all cage rust sooner rather than later. Lesnar is among the largest, strongest and most athletic fighters in the division. Couture, on the other hand, is not.
However, he has an uncanny ability to rise to the occasion on fight night, leveraging his experience, knowledge and skill to put together (and execute) winning gameplans. Put simply, Randy Couture has proven over time that he can never be counted out.
So even though it’s been nearly a year of turmoil and straight up ridiculousness ... nothing has really changed.