According to SI.com, Randy Couture was offered a fight with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the first half of 2009, but he declined due to an elbow injury and an upcoming role in Sylvester Stallone's new movie "The Expendables". Couture underwent surgery on Thursday with doctors removing two bone spurs from his elbow measuring 16 centimeters (about 6 inches).
Couture did indicate that he would like to fight Nogueira some time in future, but for now it puts a hold on a bout most thought was guaranteed to happen in the near future. It was believed Couture was the leading candidate to headline UFC 99, which is supposed to take place on June 13 in Cologne, Germany. It would seem like Couture would still have ample time to train for the event, so the news about passing on Nogueira makes me think something else is up. Perhaps the UFC offered Couture a fight against Nogueira at UFC 96 on March 7 in Columbus, Ohio. This would have allowed Couture to fight just prior to leaving for his movie role, which I have heard will take him to Brazil later in the month. Even if he sustained a cut, I'm sure it could have been worked into the movie without much problem. He is playing a mercenary after all.
For all we know about his role, he might only be on set for a week. The movie stars Stallone, Jet Li, Forest Whitaker, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, and possibly Sandra Bullock. Couture is definitely the odd man out in that crew. I don't see his character making it through the first hour without getting clocked in his shiny head by an unseen sniper.
Combine that with his recent surgery and I think Columbus, not Cologne, was the target for the Nogueira fight.