UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture has turned down a proposed title defense against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81 according to a report from MMA Weekly.
Couture was apparently offered the bout during a meeting with UFC President Dana White. While Couture ultimately decided to turn down the offer and will now most likely be stripped of the title, he has noted that talks went well and that he hopes into continue a relationship with the UFC in the future:
“We’ve cleared the air, and hopefully we’ll move forward with some sort of relationship,” Couture said. “I’ve got a lot of fighters and a lot of things that hinge around mixed martial arts and the UFC as well. I want to continue to work with them and I think that they want to continue to work with me, so we’ll figure out how that happens.”
Various reports from this past week have suggested that Nogueira will now most likely face former champion Tim Sylvia for the vacant title at some point early next year.
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