Randy Couture recounts heart attack: ‘If I had waited… it would have been a different outcome’

(Courtesy of ESPN MMA)

UFC Hall of Famer and former UFC champion Randy Couture recently encountered a fateful day that put him on the brink of his life. On Oct. 23, he suffered a heart attack, but didn’t realize it until he walked himself to a nearby hospital and was diagnosed. 

Had Couture waited any longer than he did, he may not have found himself already up and about, returning to his normal life.

Couture had been working out in the gym, but found himself more tired than normal after his training session. He event started vomiting, which isn’t normal for him. So he went home to rest, laid down on his bed, but the pain he felt wasn’t going away. At that point, Couture walked to a nearby hospital. 

“They’re like, ‘Dude, you’re having a heart attack,” Couture recounted on a recent episode of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on ESPN. “They rushed me right up stairs to the cath lab; went in through my wrist. My thick blood had created a giant clot in my main artery – the ‘widowmaker,’ of course. I had a plaque rupture and the blood goes like it would with any wound to heal that wound. My blood is so thick it created a clot that occluded the whole artery.”

Doctors immediately removed the clot and inserted a stent. Couture left the hospital under his own power and has quickly regained his health. In fact, he’s already been sparring again.

Of course, it could only be described as a life-changing experience. How could it not be? Couture was on the edge of his life when he walked into the hospital. He’s well aware of the fragility of the situation.

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“I was lucky I came in when I came in. If I had waited another 30 or 40 minutes, it would’ve been a different outcome,” Couture said.

“To have a heart attack was strange. It just chips away at your identity a little bit. Who you are. Who you thought you were. I’m certainly happy to be back up and running. I’m feeling a lot more normal. A lot more like myself.”

Couture last set foot in the Octagon in 2011, losing to Lyoto Machida at UFC 129 in Toronto, but had already been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2006. Couture closed his fighting career with a 19-11 record, but was the first multi-division champion in UFC history, having held the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles.

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(Courtesy of TMZSports)