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Couture vs. Fedor could be wishful thinking

I want to preface what you’re about to read by acknowledging the following:

1. I have never seen a UFC contract with my own eyes. All I know is what I’ve heard second-hand.

2. I have no first-hand knowledge of Randy Couture’s contract. I don’t know if it’s a standard UFC contract or if special considerations were made when he came out of retirement.

3. I’m not an attorney so a lot of what I will be stating are nothing more than assumptions.

If you have ever seen or signed a UFC contract and I have something wrong, please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] to correct me.

There is growing speculation that Randy Couture will eventually resume his fighting career and will do so for a promotion outside of the UFC. Unless I’m missing something here, I don’t think that’s entirely possible unless something drastic happens.

Many people are assuming that Couture will be able to fight outside of the UFC after a recent clarification was made that he has not retired from MMA but has in fact resigned from the UFC. Couture’s statement is perplexing because he has two fights remaining on his UFC contract. If he’s not retiring from MMA then how does he plan to compete again if his promotional rights are retained by the UFC?

It’s possible that Couture knows he has no legal way of fighting for another promotion but is phrasing his departure as a resignation as opposed to a retirement so that the blame can be placed squarely on the shoulders of UFC management. By saying he is resigning as opposed to retiring, it limits the ability for how the UFC can spin the situation. It seems to me that he’s drawn a line in the sand and rather than take his case to a court of law, he’s taking his case to the public court of opinion. It’s a savy move on his part considering that he’s one of the most beloved figures in the sport. It certainly never hurts to have an outpouring of public support to back your cause.

It’s been said by some that Randy could become a free agent when his contract expires in nine months and that a showdown with Fedor Emelianenko under the M-1 banner is likely. However, based on my limited knowledge of the structure of the UFC’s contracts, a scenario in which Couture becomes a free agent and can compete for another promotion is not possible.

It’s been explained to me that a Zuffa contract contains two provisions when it comes to the length of a contract: the term (time period) of the agreement and the number of bouts. In order for a contract to expire and for a fighter to become able to negotiate with other promotions, a fighter must satisfy both the term and the number of bouts.


  • Jeremy says:

    Very nice read Sam and definitely goes into one of the things I have been wondering about, Courture’s possible contract status. I know he has been saying it’s over in 9 months. But all I remember is when he signed saying it was a 2 year deal which I would think would begin with the 2007 year and last til the begining of 2009. And obviously Dana White says it’s not over in nine months either, but that’s Dana.

    I wasn’t aware of the many topics you bring up in the article and it will certainly be interesting to see how things play out as this goes along.

    Like your prediction I hope Randy eventually fights in the UFC again.

  • Accomando says:

    I hope to see Couture again in the UFC, but only time will tell. need to lose all of the “Pro-elite sperms” swimming around at the site.

  • canuck says:

    Thanks for the (as usual) great insight Sam.
    I remember seeing Randy in an interview after his win against Tim Sylvia where he said that his contract was fight to fight with the UFC and that he’d take it one fight at a time. Hopefully he got a different contract than most. I think Dana’s done some great stuff for the sport, but I’d love to see Randy take out Fedor as his last fight (I don’t want to see him getting all Holyfield on us)

  • […] time you retire the more they offer you to come back. As I stated in my previous article “Couture vs. Fedor could be wishful thinking,” I don’t think Randy leaving the UFC is about an inability to sign Fedor. He’s […]

  • nem0 says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but even if he is still contracted to the UFC, it’s not like they can bring criminal charges against him for breaking contract, correct? The worst they can do is fine, sue, or (maybe, I could be wrong) have his license to fight in the US revoked. Breaking contract in that case could be extremely costly to Couture, but if he’s going to retire after fighting Fedor anyway, would it really matter?

  • Mike Rome says:

    I think Matt Hughes’ pay is at the center of all this. He was on the same show as Randy, and his base is 100k lower, so if he made more total for his fight on that show, then that has to be what has pissed Randy off.

    When asked if he makes a million dollars per fight earlier this year, Hughes suggested in his response that he makes even more. My guess is that he got paid his base + PPV percentage, and then got a massive extra bonus because he would not be fighting until the end of the year. In total, he probably made more than Randy for that one fight.

  • Evan says:

    check this out

    $3 Million Purse For Randy Couture VS Fedor Emelianenko

  • Mr. Takedown says:

    you posted a bad link Evan. And its to your own site. tsk tsk.

    Here is the press release:

    To summarize: Some upstart org CFC (not to be confused with the soon to be defunk CFFC) is offering up $1 mil per fighter for Couture vs. Fedor. Plus another $1 mil to the winner.


  • dizzle says:

    All Randy has to do is legally change his name and fight with a mask on. BINGO! they would never be able to say it is randy.

  • Evan says:

    Maybe he could also spit out some green dust.


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