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10.17.2007 - 10:26:00 AM - 5 Oz. Round table: Randy Couture

Sam Caplan at 5 Oz. has another new feature at his site called the 5 Oz. Roundtable. Sam's got quite a group of writers over there blogging about MMA. You should definately check it out if you haven't already. The roundtable is exactly what it says, a roundtable discussion for all the writers to express their ideas on. The first topic was:

"What do you think of Randy Couture's decision to leave the UFC?"

Here's a little taste of what they had to say:

Sam Caplan: Now that some of the shock has worn off, maybe we should have seen the signs coming? Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported several weeks back that a number of fighters were not happy and there were some issues about the reporting of buyrates and whether certain fighters would continue to even get a percentage of buyrates.

I'd love to ask Dana White directly whether Dan Henderson's assertion that the UFC has attempted to institute some cutbacks. Does the UFC owe so much in loan payments that they need to increase their cash flow through cuts in order to make payments? I'd also like to know what Randy's comment about not getting a bonus for the fight at UFC 74 vs. Gonzaga means. Is it a clerical situation where he simply hasn't been given his bonus because the UFC is still waiting for the numbers to come in or did he mean they are refusing to give him a bonus now and in the future?

I think the money situation goes beyond just Randy. On the surface, it just seems to make too much sense to not just give Couture a huge bump in pay for his final couple of fights. But perhaps the UFC feels that if they give Couture a substantial raise that it will open the floodgates and virtually every fighter in the UFC will ask for a raise.

Adam Morgan: I see this as completely shocking. It seems as if Dana and some other people don't think it's too much of a shock, but really, this is nothing but a huge middle finger in Dana White's direction. From the sounds of it, Randy was getting screwed by the UFC as far as compensation goes. For him to come out and say some of the things he's said today, things must not have been as kosher with the Dana White and the UFC as everyone seemed to have thought. Randy has sent a message to the UFC: Pay your fighters what they're worth. A top star in the UFC resigns and drops bombshells on the way out. This is a lesson the UFC is learning the hard way.

The other interesting point things here are the remarks from Randy from the Sherdog article. According to Randy, if UFC would have signed Fedor, this would have been the scenario: Fedor signs, they offer the fight to Randy, and Randy says "F*ck you guys, I want Fedor money." This is something no one's talking about. Can you imagine? Dana brings Fedor in to fight Randy and Randy retorts by telling him he won't fight unless he gets more money, basically holding Dana hostage.

I kind of wish this is the way things would have went down, to be honest. I'd like to have seen what Dana's response and Randy's response would be to the situation. Do you think Dana would have folded and given Randy his money? I think so. The Fedor vs. Randy fight is a dream matchup, one that many fans want and one that Dana wanted badly as well. If Randy were to hold him and the fight hostage for more money, then Dana has to fold in order to save face.

I commend Randy for telling it like it is and not holding back. When someone with his stature says these kinds of things, it sends shockwaves through the MMA community. And how big was Fedor's signing with M-1? In two days, the UFC lost him and Randy Couture as result. I wish the best for Randy and hopefully M-1 comes ringing on his doorbell, asking for an opponent for Fedor. Hey, there's always wishful thinking, right?

The rest of their thoughts can be found here.

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