by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Randy Couture proved why he is considered one of the most legendary fighters of all time last Saturday night when he defeated Gabriel Gonzaga via third round TKO to retain his heavyweight title. He also finished the fight with a broken arm as Couture discussed in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio on Monday.
The injury occurred in the third round when Couture blocked a high kick from Gonzaga and still the 44-year-old champion continued and finished his opponent shortly after.
“Obviously he’s got a very, very good high kick and obviously after Mirko he’s got some confidence throwing it,” said Couture. “He tried to kick me in the head a few times actually and he slapped me in the face with his foot on one occasion.
“In the third round, he tried a high kick and I deflected it off my left forearm. Bone on bone contact, shins or forearms, things like that, it hurts and at the time I was like ‘wow, that was a hard kick, I’m glad it didn’t hit me in the head’ and my arm hurt.
“We ended up in the clinch again and it was shortly thereafter that I took him down and ended up finishing the fight. It didn’t really feel anything at the time, other than my arm felt kind of funny.”
Many fans viewing the fight thought Couture took the shot flush to his head, but the champ explained that it was his arms that mostly deflected the kick.
“A few people thought I took the shot to the head,” Couture stated about the kick. “I don’t think it hit me in the head at all. It definitely hit me in the arm, but I didn’t feel it in the head. I don’t know, maybe the head’s the best place to hit me.”
Moments later Couture took his opponent, who outweighed him by almost 25lbs, to the ground where he finished the fight with strikes.
Afterwards, the attending ringside physician checked Couture, but it was apparently later that night when he realized something was wrong.
“After the fight, the doc check my hand and checked everything and I just thought it was a real good bruise, a good deep bone bruise,” said Couture.
“By the end of that evening, that night, and the next morning it was very swollen and I couldn’t pronate or supinate my hand, you know turn my wrist back or forth. I realized at that point that I might have a broken bone in there. I went to the chiropractor that afternoon and he has an x-ray machine and he put it up there on the screen and sure enough it was broke clean through.”
The injury, explained Couture, was to the smaller bone in his forearm and shouldn’t be seen as very serious at all.
“The ulna bone is the smaller bone of the two bones in the forearm, the radius is the bigger bone and the smaller bone was snapped clean in half. It’s called a ‘night stick fracture.’ You think about somebody trying to hit you in the head with a nightstick and you threw your hands up, that’s exactly where it would hit you.
“It was not displaced, so it does not have to be set, there’s no surgeries or anything like that involved. In fact, they don’t even have to cast it,” Couture stated about the injury. “The smaller bone has a very, very good prognosis for healing. I’ll wear a splint for the next 6 weeks and it will start healing. It’s healing now I’m sure. It’s still pretty swollen and tender now, but in about two weeks time the bone will start to stick back together and things should be looking good. I’ll get an x-ray to make sure it’s still not displaced and it should be good to go.”
The UFC heavyweight champion doesn’t expect to fight again in 2007, but does have other commitments including two acting engagements. One will start in 2 weeks when he will appear in the CBS show, “The Unit” and the other will be a feature role in the prequel to the “Scorpion King,” part of the Mummy franchise of movies.
Couture advised that regardless of the injury; he’ll stay active, no matter what.
“I’m sure I’ll find things to do,” stated Couture. “I’ve still got two perfectly good legs and I can run on a treadmill, I can ride on a bike. I’m still going to be working; I’m just not going to be punching, especially with my left hand.”