The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday that Randy Couture will be honored as the organization’s Outstanding American for 2018.
Couture joins Distinguished Members Stephen Abas, Lee Allen, Henry Cejudo and Kristie Davis, Meritorious Official Gary Kessel, Order of Merit recipient Nancy Schultz Vitangeli, and Medal of Courage recipient James McCloughan, who were announced on Oct. 26.
The Class of 2018 will be inducted at the 42nd Annual Honors Weekend on June 1-2, 2018 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. For more information on Honors Weekend, please telephone (405) 377-5243.
“Randy Couture epitomizes our Outstanding American award, which recognizes those who used wrestling to launch notable careers after concluding their wrestling careers,” said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. “Randy served in the military and then was an All-American at Oklahoma State. He competed internationally in Greco-Roman and then was one of the original mixed martial arts champions. He then stepped onto another stage, literally, as an actor and continues to evolve as an entrepreneur.”
Past recipients have included individuals who have excelled in science, technology, business, industry, government, military, and arts and humanities.
Couture wrestled at Lynnwood High School in Lynnwood, Washington, and was a Washington state champion as a senior. After graduating high school, he served six years in the United States Army from 1982-88, and attained the rank of sergeant in the 101st Airborne. Couture then attended Oklahoma State where he was a three-time All-American, finishing sixth in 1990 and second in 1991 and 1992 while helping the Cowboys win the team title in 1990 and finish second in 1991 and 1992. He was a National Wrestling Coaches Association First-Team All-Academic in 1991 and 1992, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in foreign language and literature.
Couture wrestled at the World Championships in Greco-Roman in 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997, when he finished ninth, and was an Olympic team alternate in 1988, 1992 and 1996 and a semifinalist at the Olympic Trials in 2000. He was a six-time UFC world champion and was the only competitor to hold titles in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions. Couture became the fourth fighter inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2006, and was inducted into the Oklahoma State College of Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 2016.
As an actor he has appeared in the hit films “The Expendables,” “The Expendables 2,” and the “Expendables 3,” opposite Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis, as well as on television. He recently completed filming “Alpha Code,” a science-fiction film, and “Row,” a murder mystery.
Couture has his own chain of gyms, Xtreme Couture MMA, and a clothing line, Xtreme Couture MMA Clothing. He also founded and runs the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation, which raises awareness and financially supports wounded veterans. Couture teamed with Jay Glazer of Fox Sports and Green Beret and NFL player Nate Boyer to create Merging Vets and Players (MVP), which is a program designed to address challenges that many combat veterans and professional athletes face when transitioning their service/professional life towards a new mission in their civilian life. He and Glazer also created MMAthletics, which trains professional athletes from various sports in the ways of mixed martial arts and how that training can be applied to their respective sports.