10.13.2007 - 6:46:00 PM -
Randy Couture Leaves the UFC
The Fight Network is reporting that Current Heavyweight Champ and Hall of Famer Randy Couture has resigned from his position as commentator, ambassador, and Heavyweight Champion.
Couture notified the UFC via Fax while in South Africa filming a sequel to the Scorpion King movie. Randy stated the major reason for leaving was the UFC's inability to sign the biggest free agent in MMA history, Fedor Emelianenko. He also went on to say that he was tired of swimming upstream against UFC management which brought up some interesting questions.
Check out what Sam Caplan thinks over at 5oz. Sherdog released a statement by Couture after Josh Gross caught up with the hall of famer:
"I sent the letter of resignation to the UFC today, resigning not only from my position in the company as a commentator and as an ambassador, but also as the heavyweight champion," Couture said over the phone from South Africa, where he is currently filming a movie.
"The motivation for the decision is two-fold," he continued. "I know Fedor (Emelianenko) just signed with another organization and that's the only real fight that makes sense for me at 44 years old as the heavyweight champion of the UFC. That's the fight I wanted and if that can't happen it doesn't make sense for me to compete with all these other guys. And then obviously that's not going to happen now. And, two, 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."
He also went on to say the following:
"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."