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Couture blasts UFC management

Couture_UFCWell, it wasn’t about acting after all.

Then again, it didn’t take a genius to figure that out, did it?

In an article by Josh Gross on, Couture is quoted as saying some damning things about the UFC and how the organization has treated him in recent months.

In the statement released on Couture’s official website he alluded to his decision having to do with respect. Well, now we have a better idea of what he meant:

“…I’m tired of being taken advantage of, played as the nice guy and basically swimming against the current with the management of the UFC. I have a lot of other things going on in my life that I’m doing just fine with. I don’t need the problems. I don’t feel like I get the respect I deserve from the organization, and that’s motivation No. 2 for the letter of resignation that was sent today.”

Wait, it gets worse:

“I think the final straw for me was meeting with Dana and Lorenzo (Fertitta, UFC co-owner) where they claimed I was the No. 2 paid athlete in the organization, which I know is a bold-faced lie,” Couture said. Polling other athletes, said Couture, he learned that his compensation — some $250,000 a fight with pay-per-view bonuses, according to the Couture camp — was nowhere near what other top UFC fighters were making.

“All us athletes are all pretty tightly intertwined,” he said. “You hear what other guys were paid signing bonuses and what other guys were paid on the record and off the record with bonuses. I’ve heard Chuck’s numbers. Tito’s numbers. Hughes’ numbers. Quinton’s numbers. Cro Cop, Wanderlei. I heard what they were offering Fedor, and it’s insulting.”

According to Gross’ article, Couture indicates he’s under contract to the UFC for nine more months. However, it’s unclear whether he will be a true free agent at that point because he’s still contracted to the UFC for two more fights and White asserted in his statement that Couture is still under contract to him.

Randy wants Fedor and he’s got the public on his side. There are people in this industry (Monte Cox comes to mind) who have gone head-to-head with Dana White and survived. However, I can’t really think of anyone who has gone against Dana and walked away a winner. Maybe Randy will be the first?

Welcome to the UFC’s worst nightmare. Things are going to get worse before they get better.

  • Zurich says:

    I wonder if this will spark an all-out revolt in the UFC? Arlovski and Tito have to be pretty pissed off right now, and they’re pretty big draws…

  • jaydog says:

    Although it’s true that Dana was screwing Randy out of his slice of the pie, I’m not sure I understand how Dana was supposed to lure Fedor without making matters worse. Do the top UFC fighters want Dana to offer less money to Fedor? If so, how would that get him into the UFC?

    I think we all need to accept that some of the best talent on the world is not keen on the organizational culture at UFC and they prefer to fight elsewhere, if at all. There isn’t going to be one great monolithic organization where we can see who’s the best fighter. You’ll have to just compare what fighters do as they rotate through the different orgs.

  • el boxeo says:

    welcome to mma’s transition into what “messed” up boxing… boxing dont have no monopoly like the ufc does and now randy is throwing the first salvo which will destroy the ufc as you know it… now the ufc will have to be more like boxing and less like the wwe in terms of how they promote fights….

    which imo is great for the fighters cause they will see more money .. nick diaz was complaining about mayweather making so much money well randy’s turn here will open the flood gates…

    money will def talk and ufc thinking they wanted to save a few bucks by having fedor in an exclusive contract will now be forced to pay there guys top dollar cause if “captain america” can spit in thier face then why to say this wont lead to a trend. Or if they ever get as successful as randy , well thats what they have to look foward too….

  • Regarding Couture’s contractual status, the UFC reported on its own TV show (Inside the UFC) when the Couture comeback announcement was made in early January of this year that Couture had signed a contract a few weeks earlier that was for four fights or two years. So that would mean he would be a free agent in late 2008… still approximately a year away.

  • Check out the Kevin Iole article with quotes from Dana White. Yeesh, Vince McMahon would be very proud of Dana White’s ability to blame anything and everything on that gosh-darned media.

    Very conveniently, it’s ignored that Couture never said he found out about other fighters’ pay through the evil media. Couture said that he found out about other fighters’ pay by talking to those fighters.

    Also, I’m sure Couture and the fighters that he spoke to will appreciate the quote, “These guys are all the toughest guys in the world, but they’re like (expletives) in a beauty salon… They hear these rumors and they believe them and then they get insulted like (expletives) after we try to talk reality with them.”

    Equally endearing is the following quote about Fedor: “The negotiations with those guys were so nutty, that at this point, I don’t give (an expletive) if he ever comes with us. If there were real rankings out there, he wouldn’t be the No. 1 fighter in the world, believe me.”

  • el boxeo says:

    classic white…lol

    i think dana didnt think that the fighters would notice the sold out arenas and the ppv supposed success and how that should translate to more money for them.

    yeah im sure many of those fighters will appreciate those comments from dana….

    you have to wonder , at least in the fighters eyes, would they rather see a strong ufc brand model operating or the existing boxing model that now prevails in terms of how the fighters get paid.

    some of those boxing mismatches ie. mayweather , are earning those boxers huge pay days yet floyd can only sell out arenas when he faces real marketable fighters like dlh or ricky hatton.

    i would say that couture could sell out an arena with the right opponent regardless if the ufc is involved. Now the UFC is mainly responsible for that but couture’s name has grown along side the sport. It will be interesting to see if the UFC will be able to sell out arenas without him..

    and if couture aligns himself with another promotion , its a wrap… be it either m-1 or cubans new venture or even elite xc ( which gary shaw runs) …. what dana dont realize is that every ufc fighters on staff is seeing what to expect if they ever become famous or popular like a couture….

    so basically become a great fighter, make the ufc tons of money, represent them and help them grow and you will be rewarded how? like randy ? sets a bad precedent and all it would take is a mark cuban to treat these guys to some more money to have ufc vulnurable to an exodus of talent…

    dana white thinks he can shrug this off but i think will see that this is gonna cause a chain reaction. mo money mo problems

  • Jeremy says:

    I am trying to get over the shock of this crazy news today but it doesn’t seem to be working. And the continued feeling I have is that I just don’t get Randy on this. If he was only wanting to fight Fedor I could understand more him walking away from the game. Since it seems that is unlikely right now. But the complaints about money I just don’t get at all from him. If in fact Fedor is the only fight he wanted anyways, because then money doesn’t matter except for that one fight. And even withstanding that fight he’s making a ton of money now, he’s got an amazing house and an unbelieveable gym. The UFC treats him, outside of the financial stuff, like a GOD. To me the complaint from him just comes off as money-grubing and I am usually a pro-fighter guy on financial things. It’s just the way it’s coming off to me when I read his comments.

  • el boxeo says:

    to jeremy

    i believe from randys quotes was that once the fedor fight wouldve been signed , considering the magnitude of that fight and how much money fedor was making, he was expecting a huge one time raise for that fight…

    the biggest fight money wise right now is fedor… as well as a legacy fight for him… he wasnt gonna be cool with 250k plus bonus to fight fedor when they were offering fedor 1.5 mil… and randy was the champ

    i think randy thought once that fight was made that all the other short changed purses of previous fights in his opinoin would be somewhat absolved with the record purse he was hoping to make fighting fedor.. but ufc couldnt even get that done.

    you cant compare randy money making venutres with what he has made the ufc and how un balanced the money these fighters are making with what the ufc is supposdly taking in…

    if this were a boxing fight , both of these fighters would be making upwards of ten mil each… all the ingredients are there other than the ufc being a monopoly and not wanting to pay huge amounts of purses cause it has a chain reaction to other fights….

    mayweather v. hatton = couture v. fedor… both would sell out fast , i belive that the mma fight would have more ppv buys than the boxing fight… yet pbf and hatton are making upwards of 10 mil each…. and fedor was asking for just 1.5 a fight and randy wouldve probally been asking for mabey a little bit more…

    its a money issue but because the ufc is making major cake off these fighters and while dana white can “promote” till he is 65 and still be in his “prime” , these fighters are only as good as their body allows them to be … so at 44 randy is trying to cash out… and he has done as much for the ufc as they have for him… and instead of making this a win win for both sides they made it into a lose lose cause they couldnt get fedor as well as them not paying what randy thought he was worth in the past…

  • el boxeo says:

    “The UFC treats him, outside of the financial stuff, like a GOD”

    this is the problem… they treat him like a GOD cause he is a money maker for them in and outside the octagon. He is a great ambassador of the sport and has millions of fans… but if theyre not paying him then it would only be natural for randy to feel like he is being used without compensation….

    i wouldnt go to work if i didnt have a paycheck comming every two weeks… even if they treated my like jesus christ.

  • dice says:

    Well jeremy, let me just help you along with your feelings against Randy on this one.

    Imagine (its easy if you try) that you are a supremely talented fighter who works your ass off every time you train and that you have no problem taking on the best in the world. Now imagine that for 10 years, you fight as the companies biggest star but don’t make much money because the finances of the company aren’t that great and it is still growing. Then imagine that the company makes it big and has enormous amounts of capital(in large part due to you). Now imagine that after all you have done for this company, all the times you were an ambassador for them, the time that you were a big part of their breakthrough reality show, all the times you headlined fights that made record ppv numbers…. then imagine another fighter coming over who has never made the company a single dime, getting offered WAY more than you make, even though you are the champion (and according to the president of the company, you would destroy this fighter). Is that really hard to understand?

    You really think randy is a money grubber? Is that really how someone who has never once bitched about the UFC, never said a bad thing about the owners or president and who is regarded as the nicest, most honest fighter that ever competed comes across? I understand if someone says brandon vera is greedy (although I don’t agree with it), because he is a younger guy that hasn’t proven much in the sport yet. But I don’t understand someone who thinks of a guy who is a 5 time world champion in 2 different weight classes and is generally regarded as the greatest fighter in UFC history, as a money grubber. Or do you think that maybe, after all these years, you are getting taken advantage of because you are such a nice guy?

    About a year ago Dana was in trouble. His number 1 challenger(vera) was refusing to re-sign and his heavyweight division was considered the weakest in the company. His champion was coming off a couple of lackluster performances and was considered to be the most unpopular fighter in the sport. Randy came in, in his forties, and helped push your brand to the next level by winning the heavyweight title. Now you have one of the most marketable fighters in the world back in the title slot. Randy saved that division, plain and simple.

    Money matters when the guy who is putting on the fight makes 1000 times more than the guy helping draw in the revenue (and then lies about how much he(dana) is making, hence the UFC all of sudden got really secretive on their ppv buyrates).

  • […] compensation is one of the main points of contention coming out of the Randy Couture’s statement regarding giving up his Heavyweight Title belt and leaving the UFC. Randy claims he is tight with […]

  • Ed says:

    For us fans, escalating pay means higher PPV costs and ticket prices. Its an unfortuneate by-product that comes with MMA growing popularity.


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