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UFC Fail With Fedor So Randy Walks


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With the UFC?s apparent inability to sign top free agent Fedor Emelianenko to a contract, current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture has reportedly decided to walk away from the UFC and the two fights remaining on his current deal.

The shocking news comes from The Fight Network, with whom Couture has a longtime relationship. According to the website, Couture delivered his resignation with a letter to UFC President Dana White.

?I appreciate this opportunity the sport of MMA and the UFC has given me,? Couture told the website. ?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.?

Emelianenko ? the current PRIDE heavyweight champion and the most sought-after free agent in mixed-martial arts ? reportedly inked a new deal with the Russian-based M-1 Mix-Fight Championship promotion in the past couple weeks.

White made no mention of Couture?s resignation ? nor any problems in his relationship with the fighter ? during today?s UFC 77 media conference call. The two MMA notables appeared to have a very public and very cordial relationship.

UFC officials were hopeful that Couture would next defend his title against Emelianenko at a Feb. 2 show in Las Vegas. Fight fans had been teased by the possible matchup for much of 2007. MMAjunkie.com recently reported that Couture was supposed to headline the UFC 81 event regardless of the opponent, but it now appears the fighter?s career with the UFC is over.

The 44-year-old Couture, a UFC Hall of Famer, came out of retirement earlier this year to defeat Tim Sylvia for the heavyweight championship. Since the UFC 68 victory, Couture has reemerged as one of MMA?s biggest stars.

He successfully defended his title at UFC 74 in August against top contender Gabriel Gonzaga.

Couture (16-8 MMA, 13-5 UFC) is one of the most decorated fighters in MMA history and the only athlete to ever hold the UFC?s heavyweight and light-heavyweight titles. The former All-American wrestler has competed in 15 title fights in his 24-fight career.

It?s too soon to know what the UFC will do with a now-vacant heavyweight title. However, top contenders Brandon Vera and Tim Sylvia are scheduled to fight next weekend at UFC 77, and fellow contenders Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira and Cheick Kongo are expected to fight in early 2008. The two bouts could set up a mini-tournament, with each fight?s winner facing off in a title fight at a later date.

I am shocked about this!

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A bit of a shock, but you cannot really blame Couture. He wants to fight the best, has beaten those put in front of him in UFC, so now needs others.

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?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.

He has been doing a lot of acting, and I know he is in South Africa right now filming a movie. I think it?s a great move for Randy?s acting career to retire from fighting while he is on top.

As we all know, Randy retired before. The landscape in MMA changes every day. So when he is ready to come out of retirement again, he is still under contract with me, and I?m ready to promote him.?

I would imagine thats it he is getting on.

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I was more disappointed that Fedor did not sign with the UFC, than the news about Couture, though that sucks as well.

Since Fedor's signing is related to Couture's decision, here's the article on Fedor Emelianenko signing with M-1.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) has committed to the Russian-based promotion M-1, according to a report published by The Fight Network.

Speculation has abounded regarding Emelianenko (26-1-1), the man most pundits see as the top mixed martial artist in the world, since the implosion of his former home, PRIDE. The UFC and K-1 had been grabbing most of the headlines in the Emelianenko sweepstakes.

Citing an anonymous source, the Fight Network report claims that M-1, an organization formerly run by Emelianenko's manager, Vadim Finkelstein, has been purchased by a company with ties to the American entertainment industry, and its first order of business was inking Emelianenko to a deal.

Sherdog.com has learned the new organization will run under the M-1 Global moniker and plans to promote shows in Russia, Japan and the United States with the first event possibly coming to fruition as soon as New Year's Eve.

A news conference has been tentatively scheduled for Oct. 23 in New York City to announce the signing as well as to introduce the new promotion to the media.

Why would Fedor go to an organization that does not contain the elite level of talent the UFC has? I hope he knows something we don't. I hope M-1 plans to compete for top talent (at least in the heavyweight division), because I've seen some headlines suggesting that M-1 could be the "new" PRIDE. I guess time will tell. Maybe we'll start to see a movement of PRIDE heavyweights to M-1; I think Josh Barnett is still unsigned, and maybe Couture plans to defect (once his contractual obligations no longer apply) to this organization to face Fedor. Who knows, I am just speculating without any information.

I'm displeased at how talent gets fragmented between organizations. The guys in UFC, certain ones in K-1, Fedor in M-1, Frank Shamrock in Strikeforce, etc.

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Since Fertitta isn't going anywhere, it's time to boot Dana White. :yes:

The UFC?s Biggest Battle in the New Generation

The UFC has won battles in the past.

All we have to do is look no further than the tale of how Zuffa came in and saved the promotion that was nearly driven into the ground by Senator John McCain and the idea that mixed martial arts was nothing more than human cockfighting. Fast forward almost seven years later and the UFC has become the driving force behind MMA?s giant growth in popularity in recent years.

Now the UFC is seemingly on top of the world. Yet they have another battle to take on.

Earlier today UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture announced that he was leaving the company, vacating his title, and seemingly severing all ties he had with the promotion. Couture cited the UFC?s failure to sign Fedor Emelianenko, generally regarded as the world?s best pound-for-pound fighter.

Yesterday, reports revealed that Emelianenko had instead opted to ink a deal with M-1, an MMA promotion located in Russia that was recently purchased by an undisclosed American company which will reveal itself via a public press conference later this month.

However that wasn?t the only reason why Couture decided to pack his bags.

There?s always been a general feeling that the UFC has been ?short-changing? their fighters for some time now. Couture?s latest remarks on the issue only further the notion that White and company are holding back serious bucks, even when it comes to their most pCouture publicly stated that he felt he was being taken advantage of by the UFC. In a recent interview with Sherdog editor Josh Gross, Couture elaborated on his pay scale while under contract with the UFC, deeming it ?insulting?.

?I think the final straw for me was meeting with Dana and Lorenzo Fertitta, where they claimed I was the No. 2 paid athlete in the organization, which I know is a bold-faced lie,? Couture said. ?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.?e offering Fedor, and it?s insulting.?

Couture?s comments may very well open up a whole new can of worms when it comes to the debate of fighter salaries in the UFC, giving long-time critics such as the UFC?s own Tito Ortiz more fuel for their fire.

Ortiz has made headlines recently for clashing heads with UFC management, stating that the UFC should have offered him more money for potentially headlining the UFC?s return to New Jersey in November. Ortiz declined the offer and has instead chosen to take the rest of the year off in order to heal lingering injuries.

Couture and Ortiz aren?t the only ones that have recently encountered similar problems.

Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski is currently in limbo while his management team continues to have problems with Zuffa officials, who refuse to add Arlovski to any events in the near future unless he signs a contract extension with the company. The same can be said for recent UFC Middleweight title challenger Nate Marquardt.

Former PRIDE star Joachim ?Hellboy? Hansen is currently living in his own personal hell while he awaits the remainder of his acquired Zuffa contract to run out since they apparently refuse to match the same salary he made while over in Japan.

The UFC has let fighters such as Paul Buentello, Yves Edwards, and Ivan Salaverry walk away in the past after they believed they were worth more than what the UFC was offering. Those decisions have worked out well to date as neither of the thCouture walking away presents a different kind of threat, a threat that isn?t going to come from Couture himself but rather the fighters that share similar feelings as ?The Natural?.r the fighters that share similar feelings as ?The Natural?.

The UFC has been grossing larger gates and PPV revenues than boxing and pro wrestling for long enough. It?s time they start to share the wealth.

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I think we're beginning to see the real Dana White coming out here. In the past, a few guys have spoken out about White and got a lot of heat, but that was because they were controversial characters themselves. (Ortiz, F. Shamrock, Nick Diaz etc...) However, coming from Randy Couture, it puts the issue in a whole different light.

The UFC needs to be careful it doesn't fall in to the trap that WWE has in it's industry. (i.e. No competition, or lack of good competition, means we will do what we like, pay what we like, even if it is crap!)

The retiring of Randy is bad enough, but I think missing out on Fedor is worse yet. The biggest named free agent in the whole of MMA deserves respect, and frankly put according to the reports, UFC didn't give him it. So he went elsewhere. Whether or not he made a good decision for himself is a debate for another time, but the fact remains, he didn't give in to the UFC, maybe that is what kept Wandy at bay for so long, but alas, he gave in.

Randy may have opened a serious can or worms here!

The HW division has just gone down the drain again, and if Sylvia gets anywhere near that belt, I will cry... the general consensus seems to be, winner of Sylvia/Vera vs. winner of Nog/Kongo for the title. However, I feel that they need to bring some more decent fighters in. It's amazing how the division looked so promising with Randy at the helm and the possibility of Fedor closing in on the superfight we'd all been waiting for. However, now it looks like we're back where we started.

CroCop, when you come back, please win! Please!

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I want to say the HW title is now Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's to lose. But considering the difficulty some of the PRIDE fighters are having adjusting to the UFC I won't be surprised if he doesn't obtain the belt.

M-1 should sign Josh Barnett. Him versus Fedor would be an interesting match-up.

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I want to say the HW title is now Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's to lose. But considering the difficulty some of the PRIDE fighters are having adjusting to the UFC I won't be surprised if he doesn't obtain the belt.

M-1 should sign Josh Barnett. Him versus Fedor would be an interesting match-up.

Yeah I agree I think Nogueira should be main choice but he has to prove he is worth it he wasn't fantastic in his first fight.

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It just doesn't seem there is a fighter really worthy of the title at present. I have seen some surprisingly rallying support for Arlovski around the Internet though. It'll be interesting to see if the UFC throw him into the picture, providing his team can agree terms. However, the possibility of seeing another Arlovski/Sylvia fight is just too painful to think of...

The obvious thing to do would be to bring in some PRIDE fighters, however, looking at the current records of some of those who've jumped ship, it doesn't look too promising for the HW division.

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Dana White is going to get a lot of criticism for this, and he should. If you listen to that phone conversation it looks purely on White's end that Couture is frustrated.

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Dana White had some unflattering remarks over whoever it is that Randy is working on the movie with in Cape Town, SA. I think that if Randy had any thoughts on going back to the UFC, (if he ever catches wind of those comments, and he might) those chances are slimmer to none then Mr. Couture fighting Fedor Emilienko. Dana White can talk some smack but he looks like the punk kid in the alley that runs home to Momma when he gets slapped back. He's going to bury the UFC just you all wait and see.

<edit> I don't want it to happen like that, I'm a big UFC/K-1/Pride fan and I think it's going to happen eventually with what Couture has said about the organization in general.</edit>

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Dana White is going to get a lot of criticism for this, and he should. If you listen to that phone conversation it looks purely on White's end that Couture is frustrated.

Yeah I think he's gonna get a blacklash from the fans because Couture was a fan favourite and he is someone people paid to see.

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  • 5 weeks later...
UFC President Dana White has offered estranged UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture an upcoming fight with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.The UFC?s head honcho passed along the news yesterday afternoon during a UFC 78 conference call but said he?s yet to get an answer from Couture.

White, though, has mentioned the possible Couture-Nogueira fight for the past month ? even while Couture and White feuded via dueling press conferences and media interviews. Couture, a 44-year-old UFC hall-of-famer, resigned from the UFC last month over issues with his pay and what he perceived to be a lack of respect from UFC executives.

(We didn?t necessarily consider the Couture-Nogueira fight to be news since White had previously mentioned it, but in light of the widespread coverage following yesterday?s media call, we figured we should mention it here on MMAjunkie.com.)

During an Oct. 30 press conference, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported:

Despite the current situation, White said that Couture will be offered the opportunity to return to the octagon in early 2008. After all, White said, you can?t resign from a contract.

?We?re going to offer Randy a fight with (Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira) probably in February,? White said. ?As far as I?m concerned, Randy Couture is our heavyweight champion right now.?

It appears the offer has now been made.

However, during yesterday?s call, White said that he will need a response soon. He said he plans to talk to Couture in the next couple days because he wants to have the fight either officially booked or declined this week.

Prior to the fighter?s resignation, the UFC had planned for Couture to return to the octagon at UFC 81 on SuperBowl weekend. Couture last competed at UFC 74 in August when he scored a third-round TKO of Gabriel Gonzaga. Couture broke his arm in the fight but was expected to be fully healed in time for the Feb. 2 event.

UFC 81 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Recent signee Brock Lesnar takes on Frank Mir at the event.

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Dana White needs his head screwing on properly! Amongst other things, Randy left the UFC because he wanted Fedor. He said himself, he had nothing else left to prove, except Fedor. The UFC failed and he left. Fair play to him.

What baffles me is why on Earth Dana thinks Randy would want to return to fight Nogueira. Granted, he is a good opponent, but at the end of the day, he is no Fedor.

Frankly put, the only way I see Randy returning to the UFC is if Zuffa buy out Fedor's M-1 contract. And with the likelyhood of that ever happening being practically zero. It looks like Randy will stay retired.

Then again, money talks, but imo Randy should stick to his guns.

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Randy should just stay away I think after he said he quit and vacated the title that was it really legend complete, he proved the ultimate point he is a legend that came back and pwned everyone in his way.

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  • 1 month later...
DALLAS, Texas ? UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture, who resigned from the UFC in October over what he perceived to be a lack of respect from the organization, is counting down the days to his contract-expiration date, and he?s leaving open the possibility of fighting former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.

Couture was in Dallas over the weekend for ?HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon.? The event included a few Xtreme Couture fighters, including victorious Frank Trigg and Jay White. However, the 44-year-old UFC hall-of-famer couldn?t avoid the inevitable questions about his future.

While a guest on the HDNet broadcast of Saturday?s event, Couture said he?d still like to fight Emelianenko. While still with the UFC, Couture expressed his desire to battle the legendary Russian fighter, but when UFC President Dana White couldn?t make it happen, Couture cited it as a reason he wanted to leave the organization.

During the broadcast, Couture said the soonest he could fight Emelianenko would be October 2008, when both his fight contract (July) and employment contract (October) expire.

It became a hot topic again in a post-fight press conference.

?I?m not sure what?s going to happen with me at this point,? Couture said. ?I have a contract with the UFC that I have to honor. I can?t breach that or I?ll end up in litigation, so I don?t intend to do that.

?That contract expires in July, and we?ll see what happens after that.?

Emelianenko recently signed a non-exclusive, long-term deal with M-1 Global, an organization that was recently purchased from Emelianenko?s manager and restructured by its American investors.

The organization is allowing Emelianenko to compete New Year?s Eve at a show in Japan against the 7-foot-2 Hong Man Choi (1-0).

Couture weighed in on the match-up.

?Obviously, it?s a big guy, and it?s still a fight,? he said. ?Anything can happen in a fight? The guy can hit you across the ring as soon as the bell rings, so who knows.?

The reference was to Couture?s victory over giant Tim Sylvia in March. Couture tagged the then-champ in the bout?s first few seconds to send him to the canvas. It set up the eventual unanimous-decision victory.

Couture, though, is pulling for Emelianenko. After all, he wants to be the first to post a legitimate victory over the fighter.

?I hope it goes successfully for him because I want to be the first one to beat him,? he said.

Emelianenko?s only loss was in a 2000 RINGS event against Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. The bout was stopped just 17 seconds in because of a cut caused by a glancing elbow from Kohsaka. Because of the event?s tournament format that required one fighter to continue on, the fight was ruled a loss for Emelianenko rather than a no-contest or disqualification.

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When I saw that Rappy had posted something new in this thread I thought 'Yes! Randy is going to be fighting!' or something remotely big had happened. Darn :<

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When I saw that Rappy had posted something new in this thread I thought 'Yes! Randy is going to be fighting!' or something remotely big had happened. Darn :<

Well in a way I wouldn't be surprised if we saw Randy vs Fedor next year in M1.

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Thats true. But who wants to wait a year ;)

Id much rather see him fight out his contract and just take up the offer on Nogueira.

In a way hes screwing his fans who have been supportive throughout his career.

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Thats true. But who wants to wait a year ;)

Id much rather see him fight out his contract and just take up the offer on Nogueira.

In a way hes screwing his fans who have been supportive throughout his career.

Yeah I think it would be an awesome fight even tho if he didn't think so.

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