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October 11, 2007

Shocker! Randy Couture quits UFC

FightNetwork.com is reporting today that UFC heavyweight champ and legend Randy Couture is leaving UFC. Apparently, Couture sent a letter of resignation to Dana White. From the article, here is an excerpt of Couture's letter to White:

“I appreciate this opportunity the sport of MMA and the UFC has given me,” the UFC Hall-of-Famer said. “However, I’m tired of swimming upstream at this stage with the management of the UFC. It only makes sense at this point in my career to fight Fedor Emelianenko, and since he’s now signed with another organization, I feel like it’s time to resign and focus on my other endeavors.”

Sherdog.com has more on the breaking news here. According to Sherdog.com's article, relatively low pay and UFC's inability to bring top heavyweight fighter Fedor Emelianenko into the promotion were two of Couture's main considerations in retiring.  Here is an excerpt from that article:

"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."

And, finally Dana White released a statement on UFC.com regarding Couture's resignation.  White acknowledges the resignation with the following statement:

I'm not surprised at all by Randy’s decision. I talked to Randy several weeks ago and he said that if he couldn’t fight Fedor, then he has nothing left to prove in the sport of mixed martial arts.

According to reports, Couture had two fights left on his contract with UFC.  Therefore, it doesn't appear that Couture can jump to another promotion (for example, M-1, which is where Emelianenko signed this week).  In other words, if Couture does want to come back to MMA, he will apparently do so only with UFC.  And, a Randy-Fedor fight appears completely dead in the water.

Posted by at 5:36 PM | | Comments (6)
        

Comments

Randy is great. He has been on quite a tear lately. Randy so adaptable to other fighter's styles and plan that once in the ring the opponent does not have a chance. The Chuck thing, well obviously he was not at his best. We all have a bad day now and again. Well, maybe two! I like Chuck, but he is no Randy Couture. Chuck has a good punch, PERIOD. As we all know, the UFC has been on the rise and I love watching the fights, however for the past 2 or so years the fight cards have been getting worse, and the obvious money hungry UFC has been getting called out for it. Has Dana White and the other "bosses" been exposed for what they really are? Sounds like Dana is quite the backstabber as well. Gotta' like Randy getting out there first and telling his side of things. In the past I was very impressed with White, and his seemingly direct candor on things. However, for now I may need to rethink that. Lately some of the scoring has also been very questionable. Especially for the so called "heroes". How about the Tito/ Forrest Griffin fight for one? Forrest clearly won that fight. To Griffin's credit he took it on the chin, and was very professional about the whole thing. Oh God, here we go again. Have the UFC "bosses", including Dana White been exposed for what they and the UFC really is? Maybe they are showing their true colors? Is the UFC signaling a "Don King/ Boxing" like experience? As of late, the scoring and constant complaining from a whole host of fighters is making me think that. I am really getting a bad feeling about this, and the UFC. Maybe soon we will hear not only does the UFC pay poorly, but maybe like Don King, the fighters will call the UFC out for ripping them off straight out. Or maybe not paying them at all. God help Dana White. We have all heard the Dana White anthem concerning boxing and its history. The UFC is beginning to sound like it has a "Don King/ Boxing" future. Come on Dana; remember what makes the UFC and MMA so great!

If this leads to the exposure of the UFC organization then maybe Randy Couture resigning is a good thing.

This will probably lead to fighters having better paychecks and the better paychecks will bring better fighters.

Maybe this move will prompt the organization to give the fighters better paychecks and that will bring in better fighters.

If Randy Couture is not one of the highest paid UFC fighters then there is something definitely wrong and it's no surprise he resigned. As he was a spoke person for the sport, it's NOT a good thing for him to leave.

Dana is an a**hole for treating Randy that way. This gives credibility to Tito's issues with Dana.

Dana head is getting too big considering he is talentless in the field.

If the UFC implodes they only have themselves to blame. The best thing for the UFC is to dump Mr. White.

Dana White took the UFC from a minor sideshow operation to a major world-class sporting organization. He brought MMA into the mainstream. That's a huge achievment. Randy is the perfect representative for the UFC and if a fight between Emelianenko and Randy is not possible, Dana should do everything he can to maintain a good relationship with Randy. Dana can't get Emelianenko, it doesn't make sense for Randy to fight anybody but Emelianenko, it's nobody's fault.

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About the blogger
Kevin Richardson has been a fan of mixed martial arts competition ever since UFC 3, when 600-pound sumo wrestler Emmanuel Yarborough was beaten by Keith Hackney. Kevin will cover the world of MMA — in Baltimore, nationally and internationally. He plans to take readers into the locker rooms and MMA schools, where they'll hear from local fighters and trainers. If you have a news tip or suggestions for the blog, please e-mail him.

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