Paired with Karina Smirnoff
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As a 6-time World Champion and Hall of Famer in the fastest growing sport in the world, Randy Couture is a true icon in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). In addition to his stellar standing in combat sports, Randy is also a successful businessman, best-selling author and action movie star. Randy’s growing career in acting includes the hit films The Expendables and The Expendables 2, opposite Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis, and he reprised his role as Toll Road in The Expendables 3. On the television front, as a part of his multi-year talent, development and production deal with Spike TV, Randy served as a coach on the first season of Fight Master: Bellator MMA in summer 2013 and Spike’s new reality show Gym Rescue, for which he also serves as an executive producer.
Born in Lynnwood, Washington in 1963, Randy served 6 years in the U.S. Army attaining the rank of Sergeant in the 101st Airborne. Having completed his service, Randy became a three-time Olympic team alternate (1988, 1992 and 1996), a semifinalist at the 2000 Olympic Trials, a three-time NCAA Division I All-American and a two-time NCAA Division I runner-up (1991 and 1992) at Oklahoma State University. By December of 1997, at the age of 33, Randy made his debut into the world of professional fighting claiming victory in the Heavyweight division of his first appearance in the UFC and soon earned the moniker “Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture.” Randy eventually moved down a weight class to the Light-Heavyweight division, where he would spend the remainder of his UFC career. Randy is, to this day, the first of only two UFC competitors to hold titles in both the Heavyweight and Light-Heavyweight divisions.
In June of 2006, Randy became the 4th professional fighter to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and that same year also retired. In March of 2007, Randy came out of retirement at the age of 44 shocking the world by re-capturing the UFC Heavyweight belt and becoming the first man in UFC history to win the Heavyweight title a total of three times. “The Natural” retired once and for all at the age of 47 but continues to be a highly respected presence in combat sports. Randy also dedicates time to running his own chain of gyms, Xtreme Couture MMA, a thriving clothing line, Xtreme Couture MMA Clothing, a supplement company, Xtreme Couture Pharmaceuticals (XCAP), and giving back through his foundation, the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation dedicated to honoring the veterans of America’s Armed Forces. Randy currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada and is an avid outdoorsman with a passion for motorcycles, hunting and poetry.
Originally from Ukraine, Karina made her way to the US with her family at the age of 12. At the age of nine, Karina was introduced to ballroom dancing and fell in love with it. After graduating from Fordham University with a double degree, she put her academic studies on hold to pursue her ballroom dancing career in the United Kingdom.
American audiences first fell in love with Karina during season three of Dancing with the Stars, when she swung into a second place finish with partner Mario Lopez. The next season she finished fifth with Billy Ray Cyrus. The two would team up again when Karina guest starred on “Hannah Montana.” Karina also teamed up with her former DWTS partner Ralph Macchio in her first leading role in a short film, Across Grace Alley. Karina also starred in two Broadway shows, Burn the Floor and Forever Tango. In Season 13, she went all the way, winning the Mirrorball trophy with J.R. Martinez as her partner.
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