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ESPN Video: Randy Couture talks UFC and Fight Science
Randy Couture vs Fedor Emelianenko
Raw Vegas Video: MMA Fix at Randy Couture's Operation All-In
Raw Vegas Video: Randy Couture Interview
Couture vs Fedor in October 2008?
Sherk could be stripped of the title; Couture offered fight against Big Nog
Time Magazine covering UFC vs Randy Couture
MMA Figures
UFC Press Conference notes
Randy Couture Presser Info.
UFC Presser recap
UFC and Randy Couture to hold press conferences today
Randy Couture press conference info
UFC 77 Video: Dana White talks to ESPN about Couture's resignation
5 Oz. takes a look at the heavyweight title picture
Couture's agent responds to Yahoo! Sports article
More Dana White Comments on Randy Couture
Kevin Iole Yahoo! Sports Mailbag
5 Oz. Round table: Randy Couture
Sam Caplan's Thoughts on Randy Couture
Couture: "It's not a retirement"
Joe Rogan's Comments on Couture's Resignation
Randy Couture Leaves the UFC

1.24.2008 - 6:52:00 PM - ESPN Video: Randy Couture talks UFC and Fight Science

Randy Couture talks about his status with the UFC and an upcoming episode of Fight Science featuring MMA.

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1.21.2008 - 5:38:00 PM - Randy Couture vs Fedor Emelianenko

Randy Couture and Fedor stare each other down in a photo shoot shot for Affliction Clothing.

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1.17.2008 - 11:43:00 PM - Raw Vegas Video: MMA Fix at Randy Couture's Operation All-In

Dave Farra catches up to MMA fighters Randy Couture, Frank Trigg, Stephan Bonnar, Tyson Griffin, Gray Maynard and Gina Carano as they make their donations to Randy's Operation All-In, a charity fundraiser that raised more than $90,000 for the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation.

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1.13.2008 - 5:43:00 PM - Raw Vegas Video: Randy Couture Interview

Raw Vegas recently got an interview with Randy Couture at a recent celebrity poker event he held called Operation All In. Randy talks about the charity event, his UFC contract, the fight with Fedor, and the rest of his plans for 2008.

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12.16.2007 - 12:28:00 AM - Couture vs Fedor in October 2008?

According to Sherdog.com, Randy Couture (16-8, 13-5 UFC) says that he could possibly fight Fedor Emelianenko (26-1, 15-0 PRIDE) in October if the UFC won't co-promote the fight with M-1 Global:

"Unless the UFC wants to do a co-promotion with M-1 and make the Fedor fight happen, I'm going to have to wait 'til my contract expires," Couture told HDNet's Ron Kruk. "I have no intention of breaching that contract; that expires in July. My employment contract expires with them in October. So I would assume the soonest you'd see me fight Emelianenko would be in October."

If thats the truth then why wouldn't the UFC put that fight together? They have two options; co-promote an event with M-1 Global and sign the biggest fight in MMA history. I don't give a shit what anyone says, Chuck vs Wandy was the biggest fight 2 years ago, not now. The other option according to The Natural is that he wait out the length of his contract and apparently fight Fedor in October '08 under the M-1 Global banner.

MMA Weekly has this quote from Couture from last nights HDNet Fights:

"I am not retired," said Couture at the HDNet Fights show in Dallas, Texas. "I am waiting for my UFC contract to expire. I will fight Fedor Emelianenko."

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11.13.2007 - 7:13:00 PM - Sherk could be stripped of the title; Couture offered fight against Big Nog

The UFC held a press conference on monday promoting UFC 78: Validation. I didn't hear much in the way of UFC 78 but there was some interesting news to come out of the press conference. Dana White had originally said that Sean Sherk wouldn't be stripped of the title but later back tracked on those statments according to MMA Weekly:

In announcing the interim title fight, White stated, "The belt can't be in limbo for this long. I've said since the beginning that I believe in Sean Sherk, but we have to support the athletic commission in whatever decision they make."

He added to that during Mondays conference call.

"B.J. Penn and Joe Stevenson are going to fight for the interim title. We'll see what happens with Sherk. If Sherk is found guilty, we'll support the (California) State Athletic Commission and he'll probably be stripped of his title. If not, then he'll keep his title and it will be champion vs. champion."
Here's the info on the Randy Couture situation:

If that weren't enough, the UFC has also had to deal with the discord with its heavyweight champion, Randy Couture, who suddenly "resigned" from the promotion in early October.

Following several public statements and presentations from both sides expressing disappointment over the situation, recent speculation is that Mark Cuban's new fight promotion, HDNet Fights, has offered Couture a position within the company and that he is close to, if not already, accepting the offer.

White however, indicated that the UFC has offered its champion a title defense and is awaiting a response.

"We officially offered it to him and we haven't heard back yet. We should know this week. He (sent me a text message) yesterday and said he wants to sit down and talk." Asked if there would possibly be an interim belt issued for the heavyweight division as well, White was emphatic that would not happen.

"No. Randy's going to make a decision one-way or the other. We're going to get together next week, I think, and talk and see where we're at."

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11.01.2007 - 10:59:00 AM - Time Magazine covering UFC vs Randy Couture

Time Magazine is covering the Randy Couture/UFC resignation. There isn't any new detail or any ground breaking shit, but atleast a media outlet as big as Time Magazine is covering the sport. Although this may not be the best of circumstances any press is better than no press. The article basically sums up what most people should know if they been around the last few weeks. But these guys aren't shy about taking digs at the UFC:
Now that facade is beginning to crumble. Liddell, who was recognizable enough to have an episode of HBO's Entourage focused on him, has lost two fights. Ortiz has been in an ongoing feud with White about contractual issues. ("Until Dana White is ready to fight me on a professional basis," said Ortiz at one point, "I strongly urge him to keep his mouth shut.") And now comes Couture's outbursts about money and White's counterattack. "At the end of the day we treat our fighters right," says White. "The whole thing makes no sense. I felt like I got kicked in the throat." This is one no-holds-barred battle that Ultimate Fighting doesn't want.
Touch of Gloves: Sam Caplan

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10.31.2007 - 11:32:00 AM - MMA Figures

Check out these kick ass no action figures from Round 5 MMA.

I'm adding these to my christmas list. Yes, I'm 22 years old and I want MMA Figures and yes I have a christmas list.

Touch of Gloves: Five Ounces of Pain

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- 11:02:00 AM - UFC Press Conference notes

Sam Caplan once again has a great article recapping the UFC press conference yesterday at his ProElite blog. Sam did an awesome job with the last one and this one is great too. Here's the sweetness:
According to Mulkey, Randy Couture received a $500,000 signing bonus, half of which ($250,000) was paid at the time of his signing the contract earlier this year. This clearly contradicts Couture's claim last week that he asked for a signing bonus and was declined.

Dana White explained that it was a true signing bonus in the sense that if Randy, given his age, was injured and couldn't compete, he'd still get his bonus. As such, they decided to meet his request for a signing bonus of $500,000 but withhold the other half ($250,000) until after his fight at UFC 68 vs. Tim Sylvia.

The UFC also claimed that Couture signed an employment agreement. The employment agreement paid Randy two annual salaries of $200,000 and $56,000. The $56,000 was clearly defined as being for his role with the company as a commentator while I believe the $200,000 was for his promotional role as an ambassador.

For UFC 68, Couture received a $250,000 purse in addition to the other half of his signing bonus ($250,000), according to the UFC. I believe Mulkey also said Couture received $936,000 as a bonus for PPV sales.

My understanding is that it takes three months for the UFC to receive their money from the cable company and then they have until 10 days after they receive their payment from the cable company to pay a fighter his PPV bonus. According to Mulkey, to date, Couture has received $924,000 of the $936,000 bonus.

According to the UFC, Randy's total take from UFC 68 was $1.086 million. However, it appears he's still owed $12,000 from the PPV bonus.

Fightlinker live blogged the presser.

UFC.com has their own recap available here. The funny thing is yesterday that article was different, i didn't read the whole thing and it also contained a link to the documents the UFC handed out. But it is no longer there. I saved it yesterday. You can view it here. Its in PDF format and you will need Adobe Reader to view it.

UFC.com also has archive footage of the presser.

Mr. Sunshine has tons of audio from the presser. He asked some great questions too. Some of the journalists out there asked some really stupid shit. Cofield went right after the UFC at the press conference and asked some really good questions. It's good to see there are some people that aren't complete idiots covering the sport.

As always MMA Junkie has a good recap.

Adam Swift at Sherdog takes a look at Zuffa's contract implications in regards to the Couture situation.

MMA Weekly has their own round up available here.

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10.26.2007 - 2:28:00 PM - Randy Couture Presser Info.

Randy Couture also held a press conference yesterday to shed some light on his recent resignation from the UFC, as the UFC HW Champ and an ambassador for the UFC. While really no big news came out of the presser it was still worthy of watching.

ProElite.com streamed the press conference live but apparently had some technical difficulties. Nevertheless, the whole presser can be seen at ProElite.com now.

Ben Fowlkes over at 5 Oz. has an awesome recap of the events. If you're not going to watch the whole presser this will definately give you the pertinent details you need. Here is a good passage from the article:

Despite his dominating performance against Gonzaga, the UFC did not offer him a bonus, according to Couture. He said that when he asked why, he did not receive answer. Couture said he waited two and a half weeks for an explanation after a face-to-face meeting with White, before ultimately deciding to tender his resignation.

"I gave them a chance to respond. I didn't understand why I got overlooked and didn't get a bonus in my last fight," Couture said. "I gave them a chance to respond. I don't understand why I didn't get a response."

Couture also said that media reports claiming he was due to receive several million dollars per fight under his current contract were flatly untrue. He later said that he came out of retirement to fight for the UFC heavyweight title after turning down a $3 million dollar offer from the Bodog organization for a match with Fedor Emelianenko.

"That's more money than I've ever been offered to fight," Couture said of the Bodog offer.

Couture went on to suggest that the UFC's failure to sign Emelianenko was a factor in his decision, as well, saying, "At this point in my career it's the only fight that really makes sense for me."
Adam Morgan of 5 Oz. also has his own recap up here.

Here are a few videos of the Press Conference:

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- 11:45:00 AM - UFC Presser recap

The UFC held a press conference yesterday to announce the deal between SpikeTV and the UFC. They also had Brock Lesnar, Dana White, Chuck Liddell, and Wanderlei Silva available for comment. Sam Caplan has the best transcript from the conference call available in my opinion. Here's the skinny on the SpikeTV deal:
The deal includes five additional seasons of The Ultimate Fighter (26 episodes will be produced in 2008 and 26 more episodes in 2009 with one season due in 2010) and 12 live telecasts over the course of the four-year contract.

As a part of the agreement, a new live fight series will debut in 2010 and will air in 2011. It sounds as though this new fight series will be replacing The Ultimate Fighter reality television show. There weren't many details provided in regard to the new concept other than to state that it will be a live fight series and will involve a caliber of fighter at least one level above what appears on TUF on average each season.
Dana White on when BJ Penn will fight:
White did not confirm that B.J. Penn will be fighting Joe Stevenson at UFC 79 on Dec. 29 but did say that he thinks it will happen on that card. Although, he added that he wasn't sure.
Dana White on the Andrei Arlovski:
White was asked about Andrei Arlovski by a Chicago reporter. Dana said that Arlovski is "on the bench right now" and that he wants Arlovski to fight. He then alluded to contract issues but the reporter said his impression from Arlovski's camp is that he wants to fight and is waiting for an offer. Dana acted surprise. He said if Arlovski wants to talk then he's willing to fly to Chicago "tomorrow." The reporter asked Dana if the UFC was unhappy with Arlovski and Dana said no but then he said Arlovski's last fight for the promotion was boring.
To catch the rest of Sam's recap head on over to his blog at ProElite.com

Fightlinker probably has the best live blog for the presser out there. That dude is hilarious.

You can still listen to the entire conference call at Yahoo!

Mr. Sunshine also has tons of audio clips available from yesterday's presser.

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10.25.2007 - 12:43:00 PM - UFC and Randy Couture to hold press conferences today

Randy Couture's management released the Following Press Release a few days ago:

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25th - MMA Legend Randy Couture will hold a national press conference at Xtreme Couture Martial Arts to address his reasons for resigning from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in every capacity. Randy will respond to the comments made by UFC President Dana White. Additionally, Randy will respond to Yahoo! Sports report that he makes between $3.25 million - $3.75 million per fight, which they continue to stand behind.

Afterwards, Randy will make himself available to answer questions concerning his relationship with the UFC, future plans, MMA as a sport or anything else pertaining to his resignation.
According to Sam Caplan ProElite.com will have live coverage of the press conference starting at 4:30 PM EST. Registration is free at ProElite.com so if you wanna check it out head on over. I have a profile there, you can find me at http://thirdseal.proelite.com/

Yesterday 5 Oz. broke word that the UFC would be holding a conference call to announce a new television deal. Details are not known at this time if the TV deal is an extension with SpikeTV or if its a venture with a completely different TV outlet.

Brock Lesnar, Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell, and Dana White are all supposed to be available at the conference to field questions.

The UFC scheduled the conference call for 4PM EST, only 30 minutes before Randy's presser. This is definately not a coincidence and was likely done to make the press choose between one or the other.

Yahoo! is going to stream the UFC conference call here.

As soon as more details break about the TV deal and what was said at both pressers more information will be posted.

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10.23.2007 - 10:57:00 AM - Randy Couture press conference info

Sam Caplan got word that Couture's management released the following press release yesterday:

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25th - MMA Legend Randy Couture will hold a national press conference at Xtreme Couture Martial Arts to address his reasons for resigning from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in every capacity. Randy will respond to the comments made by UFC President Dana White. Additionally, Randy will respond to Yahoo! Sports report that he makes between $3.25 million - $3.75 million per fight, which they continue to stand behind.

Afterwards, Randy will make himself available to answer questions concerning his relationship with the UFC, future plans, MMA as a sport or anything else pertaining to his resignation.

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10.19.2007 - 9:53:00 PM - UFC 77 Video: Dana White talks to ESPN about Couture's resignation

Again thanks goes to 5 Oz. on this one as well. Here's Dana White on ESPN commenting about Randy Couture's resignation.

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- 11:08:00 AM - 5 Oz. takes a look at the heavyweight title picture

Five Ounces of Pain writer Sam Cupitt takes a look at the UFC's heavyweight title picture after the resignation of then champion Randy Couture. I believe that we'll see Big Nog wearing the belt at the beginning of 2008. Here's what Sam had to say over at 5 Oz.:

With the failed signing of Fedor and the letter of resignation from Couture, the UFC is now left with a Heavyweight Division that is going to have a very hard time supporting a champ as the legitimate No.1 in the world. In the coming months and the early part of next year there are a number of fighters who will stake a claim for the belt. Depending on who becomes champ, the UFC is going to have varying levels of difficulty when it comes to marketing them as the World's best. Let's examine the situation:

Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera

There is no denying "Minotauro" is a great Mixed Martial Artist and no doubt in the top 3, or at the least top 5 heavyweights in the world. However, if he were to beat Cheick Kongo and then the winner of Vera/Sylvia (or just, as been speculated) for the title, the UFC will have an extremely hard time selling him as the No.1 when Fedor has demolished him twice.

Tim Sylvia

If Tim Sylvia manages to get past Vera and then Noguiera/Kongo the UFC is left with a champ who was never really popular to begin with and also has just been man-handled by a 44 year old legend, who many believe should still be fighting inside the octagon.
Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

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- 9:28:00 AM - Couture's agent responds to Yahoo! Sports article

The war of words keeps continuing. At this point I think that both sides need to sit down and work this out, but as reported earlier Randy isn't returning the UFC's phone calls. Adam Swift of Sherdog.com had an interview with Randy Couture's agent Matt Walker. He had this to say about Yahoo! Sports report that Randy was making $13-$15 million for a four fight contract:

"When I first read the story on Yahoo! I actually laughed because they are so far from fact," said Walker.

"If he were getting $3.25-$3.75 million a fight then Randy's compensation would not be an issue," said the agent, who was lambasted by White as a Hollywood parasite after Couture announced his resignation on Oct. 11. "However, I can tell you those salary numbers for Randy are severely inflated and I would love to know where they got the information."
So it looks like Kevin Iole's NON-UFC sources were full of shit. Now I understand he's a good writer an all that but I wonder if I'm the only one that is growing to dislike this guy more and more.

Read the rest of the article over at Sherdog.com

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- 8:47:00 AM - More Dana White Comments on Randy Couture

Steve Cofield aka Mr. Sunshine recently attended a prefight post conference for UFC 77 where Dana White made the comment that he has yet to speak to Randy Couture and that he hasn't returned their phone calls.

"I haven't talked to (Couture) at all. I called him twice since he's been in South Africa and he hasn't returned a call. His resignation didn't surprise me at all. It's the way he did that surprised me. It was done very Hollywood with his agent releasing a statement. This is the way Hollywood agents play this stuff. The whole thing was pretty shitty. He's up to something."

"He lost twice to Chuck Liddell. And then he called me up after a year and said I want to come out of retirement…I'd like to re-work my contract. He just signed a contract that he was thrilled with eight months ago. He never came to me and said can we do a new contract!"
Dana White also had this to say about the UFC event in Montreal set for January"

"We had to cancel the Canada date. That was supposed to be the first HBO date."
You can read the rest of Mr. Sunshine's article here.

Here's a look at Randy on the set of the new Scorpion King flick.

Here's a video of Dana White talking at the Press Conference:

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10.17.2007 - 10:51:00 AM - Kevin Iole Yahoo! Sports Mailbag

Kevin Iole of Yahoo! sports let the cat out of the mailbag today with a few key interesting points.
Non-UFC sources say that the contract Couture negotiated and signed before his comeback fight against Tim Sylvia in March is for four fights and between $13 million and $15 million, which puts him behind only Chuck Liddell, at four fights and $17 million, in the UFC salary pecking order. Those numbers are believed to include percentages of pay-per-view money.
I would take this at face value. Kevin Iole is a respected writer and has credible sources but this is a non-UFC source. The UFC has never before released figures of what people make and for good reason. If those figures were to get out to people the fighters may have more leverage at the negotiating table. Something I highly doubt the UFC or Dana White want to deal with. If this is brought up I'm sure they'll dismiss it as it isn't even coming from someone inside the UFC.

Here are two more interesting points about Randy's Retirement. Sam Caplan provided us with some insight earlier in the week with regards to this situation. Check out what Iole has to say:

  • Couture believes he can be a free agent after sitting out nine months, which would mean he figures he can fight Emelianenko sometime in late spring or early summer of 2008.

  • UFC president Dana White insists Couture must fight twice for the UFC to fulfill his contract and become a free agent
Kevin also went on to post about the future of the heavyweight division:

The winner of the Brandon Vera-Tim Sylvia fight on Saturday at UFC 77 in Cincinnati will meet Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the vacant heavyweight title sometime early next year.
Either winner to come out of Saturday nights UFC 77 fight will make a good opponent for Big Nog. Nogueira was the PRIDE heavyweight champion before Fedor came through and took the belt and has had it ever since. Nogueira is arguably one of the best BJJ practitioners in MMA. He also complements his ground game by working on his hands with the Cuban National boxing team. My prediction is we'll see Brandon Vera take on Nogueira, which will start the reign of Big Nog as the UFC Heavyweight champ.

Click here to read the rest of the mailbag from Kevin Iole.

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- 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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10.15.2007 - 10:26:00 PM - Sam Caplan's Thoughts on Randy Couture

Sam Caplan of ProElite and 5 Oz. of Pain recently provided some great insight on the Randy Couture resignation situation. There has been a lot of debate throughout the internet on whether or not Randy Couture will be able to fight for another promotion in 9 months after the time lapses on his contract. Sam provides some great insight in this article.

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.
You can read the rest of the article over at Sam's ProElite blog.

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10.14.2007 - 2:17:00 PM - Couture: "It's not a retirement"

Randy Couture has responded to a statement from UFC president Dana White that he has retired from the UFC again. Never in his statement to the UFC did he say that he retired and its basically been used by the UFC to try to downplay the situation. Check out this excerpt from The Fight Network.

UFC president Dana White tagged Couture's decision a "retirement," citing the 44-year-old's departure from the sport in 2006 before returning in March 2007 to reclaim the heavyweight title from lumbering 6-foot-8, 265-pound Tim Sylvia. "It's not a retirement," said Couture Friday, who also works as on-air analyst and ambassador for The Fight Network. "Its a resignation from the UFC organization."

Hopefully Dana White will see that its not a "Retirement" and quite trying to pull the curtain over the fans eyes. Honestly, I hope they can work something out. Anything to get away from this negative publicity. You just don't need one of your biggest stars completely severing ties with your organization. Maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal if it wasn't Captain America.

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- 4:28:00 AM - Joe Rogan's Comments on Couture's Resignation

Sam Caplan found the following post from Joe Rogan on The Underground forum posted in the wake of Randy Coutre's resignation this past week.

"I was working on UFC Wired today when I heard about it. First I thought Randy just decided to retire when he heard Fedor signed with another organization, but then after reading his quotes it obviously runs much deeper than that. I have no idea who makes what, but I do know that I'm honored to have had the chance to know Randy and I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to watch him compete. He is a very rare human being, the kind that comes along only once or twice in a lifetime. He's one of the few people that I've ever come across that's both a kind hearted, friendly, happy guy, and a furious, relentless competitor. He's also one of the rare human beings that fully maximizes his potential in his pursuits. I sincerely hope that there's a way that they can work all this out, but if not, all I can say is that I learned a lot just watching him perform, and I feel very fortunate to have met him."

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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."

Click here to read the entire article.

Randy was interviewed last night on sports center and had a little bit more information to add:

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