Couture glad to stick around to fight Machida in UFC 129

Randy Couture's retirement might be on hold once again.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Famer, 47, appears ready to take on former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida at UFC 129 in Toronto.

The bout is not yet official, but a source close to the organization confirmed it will likely occur.

Couture recently hinted at retiring if he was unable to secure what the Las Vegan called "interesting matchups" against Machida or current light heavyweight champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

With a blossoming acting career, Couture must find time to train on movie sets around the country if he wants to continue fighting.

He took to Twitter to indicate his excitement about what could potentially be his last fight. "Looks good for Toronto and Machida April 30. 2011 is looking fantastic already," Couture posted.

Couture and Machida will have company at the top of the UFC's first card in Ontario, which will likely break attendance and live gate records regardless of who's fighting.

Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, recently named Canada's most popular athlete for the third straight year by Rogers Sportsnet, will defend the belt against Jake Shields.

Fans in the region have been pleading for an event for several years as MMA regulation in the province has been held up time and time again. With the legislative issues resolved, the event was given the official go-ahead last month and slated for April 30 at Rogers Centre.

With two fights apparently set, there is little question the card will be one of the biggest events in UFC history.

■ SONNEN ENTERS GUILTY PLEA -- UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen pleaded guilty Monday to a single count of money laundering in U.S. District Court, according to a story published by The Oregonian.

Sonnen, 33, faces a recommended sentence of two years' probation in the case that stems from the sale of a home in 2006 in which the fighter, a licensed real estate agent, helped steer a kickback of nearly $70,000 to the buyer.

According to the U.S. Attorney handling the case in Oregon, Sonnen has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine and give up his Realtor's license.

Sonnen was running for a seat in the Oregon Legislature and had won the Republican primary before pulling out of the general election to deal with a "legal issue" that turned out to be the money laundering case.

Sonnen is serving a reduced suspension of six months from fighting after failing a post-fight steroid screening following a loss to middleweight champion Anderson Silva in August.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 28.

■ OUCH -- Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar heads a list of four fighters who suffered a broken nose at UFC 125 at the MGM Grand, according to the Nevada Athletic Commission.

Brandon Vera had the most evident of the nasal fractures after a three-round beating at the hands of Thiago Silva.

Phil Baroni and Marcus Davis suffered the injuries in knockout losses. A bit of insult was added to Baroni's injury as he was released by the UFC on Monday.

Vera and Davis might soon follow Baroni to the unemployment line.

■ TUFF-N-UFF -- The Las Vegas-based amateur organization returns to The Orleans for a card at 7 p.m. Friday in the Mardi Gras Ballroom.

The event will include a series of bouts featuring Las Vegas-based fighters taking on competitors from 10th Planet Riverside in California and two quarterfinal bouts in the 145-pound women's tournament.

Tickets start at $25 and are available at The Orleans box office or online at

Contact reporter Adam Hill at or 702-224-5509.