Q&A: Randy Couture
MMA legend is dedicated to the good fight
MMA Hall of Famer Randy Couture and his nonprofit charity Xtreme Couture GI Foundation once again joins forces with Lookingglass Cyber Solutions, a company leading the charge in combating cyberwarfare, during the annual Black Hat USA conference at Mandalay Bay, through Aug. 7. Couture appears at the Lookingglass booth on Aug. 7 and recently spoke with Kiko Miyasato about the partnership, his charity and his plans for the rest of the year.
This is the third year that Xtreme Couture GI Foundation and Lookingglass have teamed up—how’s the partnership going?
I think we just continue to get to know each other and develop the relationship… There’s a synergy there that I didn’t expect, and it was an eye-opener for me when I was approached by Lookingglass to get involved. I was like, “What is this company, and what do they do?” But having been a military person myself and understanding what’s going on with guys out on the battlefield and learning more about this cyber battlefield that Lookingglass (deals with), there’s definitely a parallel, so the partnership fits.
What did this past year bring for your charity and Lookingglass?
Lookingglass is making a significant contribution as they have in the past to the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation. The nonprofit organization I started seven years ago raises awareness and funds in support of wounded soldiers, guys that are coming back wounded and are trying to get their lives back in order and support their families. … The cyber battle took on more of the spotlight this year, a lot of media about people being hacked, a lot going on with the winter games in Russia. I think me, like a lot of people, before I found out about Lookingglass and what the company does, I didn’t understand that world and that whole “cyber battlefield,” but it’s similar to a real battlefield in many ways.
Your charity has played a significant role in the lives of wounded soldiers—how have you personally seen its impact?
What I’ve learned this past year as far as the soldiers are concerned is their lives are on hold for sometimes up to a year while they’re going through surgeries and getting back on track. And they have these huge bills that stack up. One guy in particular—that we wrote a check to a couple years back—I met at one of our other charity events. He turned up, and he was like, “Man, you had no idea how many bills I had by the time I was ready to get out of the hospital, and that check that you guys wrote us really helped me get back above water.” … There’s so many guys coming back that fall through the cracks—there’s an overwhelming amount of need for these guys.
You were also busy with movies and TV this year. The third installment of The Expendables comes out in a week. How was filming?
Yes, The Expendables 3 comes out soon (Aug. 15). We’re back in Bulgaria where we shot the second film, too. Between the second and third movie, I’ve spent like 19 weeks of my life in Bulgaria now (laughs). There’s so much going on in this movie—it’s definitely action-packed. I also have a new TV show—we did a three-episode test run—Gym Rescue on Spike TV. My co-host is Frank Shamrock, and we go to gyms that are failing and we try to help them turn it around. If test episodes do well, then we’ll get 10 more episodes green-lighted.