Randy Couture, the former UFC heavyweight and light-heavyweight champion, will appear on Dancing with the Stars.
Couture, dubbed “The Natural” during his time as fighter and who has a net worth of $17 million, retired in 2011 after suffering a front-kick knockout by Lyoto Machida. He’s also starred in The Expendables franchise and Spike TV’s Gym Rescue.
The 51-year-old compete with Karina Smirnoff, a former Dancing with the Stars champion.
“Preparations for this week have been going amazingly. I’ve been a fan of my partner, Randy Couture, for years. My dog, Randy Smirnoff, is named after Randy Couture! When I saw he was my partner, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, my dad will be so excited.’ Randy’s his favorite fighter, too,” she wrote for People magazine.
She added: “We’ve had fighters on the show before – Floyd Mayweather Jr., Sugar Ray Leonard, Chuck Liddell, Victor Ortiz – and they are not known to be the dancers of the season. None of the guys was natural at it, but I feel like because Randy’s better known for being a wrestler, he has a different way of moving. He’s quite agile.”
“The biggest challenge is, I don’t think Randy realizes how strong he is, because if he goes full out 100 percent, I have to cling onto him like a koala bear, because if I don’t, I’ll be flying away. We need to really concentrate on being gentle.”
According to oddsmakers, he has a 20/1 chance to win the entire season.
The show premieres at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Here’s the odds:
Alfonso Ribeiro — 3/1
Janel Parrish — 5/1
Antonio Sabato Jr. — 6/1
Jonathan Bennett — 7/1
Lolo Jones — 7/1
Sadie Robertson — 9/1
Bethany Mota — 10/1
Tavis Smiley — 12/1
Lea Thompson –15/1
Randy Couture — 20/1
Betsey Johnson — 33/1
Michael Waltrip — 33/1
Tommy Chong — 50/1