Former PRIDE heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira recently spoke to GRACIEMAG.com about Randy Couture’s departure from the UFC and as well as the possibility of him fighting the winner of Vera-Sylvia for the vacant title.
“I am realy sad. I realy wanted to fight him. I hope there’s a chance he comes back.” Minotauro also said that there’s been a change of plans with Couture’s decision. “My strategy will change, once I will no longer have to face such a experienced and skilled guy to get to the title. My next fight is set to take place on February 3rd, but I’m uncertain about the opponent. If it’s kongo, it will not be for the title; If it’s Vera or Sylvia, the belt will be for grabs. I’m flying to the USA to watch Anderson Silva’s bout and I’ll probably know who’s going to be my adversary,” completed the former Pride champion.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira made his UFC debut in July at UFC 73: Stacked against Heath Herring. Despite being in serious trouble early after eating a head kick, Nogueira fought his way back to earn an unanimous decision victory. Minotauro sports a mixed martial arts record of 30-4-1 with victories over the likes of Josh Barnett, Sergei Kharitonov, Fabricio Werdum, Mirko Filipovic, Semmy Schilt, and Mark Coleman. Nogueira has also gone the distance with PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko twice despite dropping an unanimous decision to the Russian heavyweight both times.
Mixed martial arts powerhouse Bodog Fight is teaming up with an organization founded by two of the biggest names in the sport.
Bodog Fight will sponsor the next event by Oregon-based SportFight, an up-and-coming MMA promotion founded by Team Quest marvels Randy “The Natural” Couture and Matt “The Law” Lindland.
Bodog Fight Presents: SportFight 20, The Homecoming will take place October 27 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The co-main events will feature Bodog Fight’s Chael Sonnen (20-8-1) and Kyacey “Ice Cold” Uscola (13-9) in a middleweight bout, and a welterweight battle between Chris “The Professor” Wilson (13-3) and Derrick Noble (22-9-1).
“We are delighted to be working with SportFight,” said Bodog Fight’s billionaire creator Calvin Ayre. “Joining forces will allow us to bring some of the world’s best mixed martial arts fighters to fans in the Portland area.”
News and Notes
- The Nevada State Atheletic Commission has overturned Donald Cerrone’s Sept. 5 victory over Kenneth Alexander after he tested positive for Hydrochlorothiazide.
- In a sit down with Yahoo! Sports, former PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva discussed a variety of subjects including steroids, Chuck Liddell, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and more.
Actually, they do test in Japan. I was tested before and after my fights in Japan. But if you are thinking of Mirko (Cro Cop) and Shogun as examples, Mirko may have lost because he has so many other things going on in his life, such as his duty in government, and his business. Shogun went through a lot of changes before he fought in the UFC. He changed his home, he changed his training, and he changed fighting organizations. I don’t know why they lost their fights in the UFC; only Shogun and Mirko understand the reasons why they lost.
- Sticking with Yahoo! Sports, Kevin Iole posted a mailbag article yesterday and in it he stated that non-UFC sources say that the contract Randy Couture signed before fighting Tim Sylvia was for four fights paying between $13-15 million.
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.
- In a recent interview with MMAWeekly, Chris Lytle spoke about his upcoming fight with Thiago Alves and also provided his thoughts on being labeled a “utility fighter”.
“(The UFC has) told me this, ‘Chris, we can call you at any time and you’re going to be in shape and we can put you in with anybody.’ It’s not like, no, this guy’s too tough for Chris,” said the Indiana native.
“At the same time, they’re trying to utilize me not towards my best interests at times. It’s probably not a good label, but if I had less skill, I wouldn’t have it. It really speaks to the level of my ability to fight.”
Sports Illustrated: Q & A with Chris Horodecki
MMAWeekly: Alan Belcher Version 2.0
The Fight Network: Familiar Territory
UFC: Patience is no virtue for Jason MacDonald
UFC: Words of Wisdom with Brandon Vera
Sherdog: Behind the Curtain: Zuffa’s Finances Come Into Focus
News and Notes
- MMAWeekly is reporting that Hermes Franca has left The Armory and he is now in the process of opening his own gym in West Palm Beach, Fla.
The gym will be opening in November. It will be inside of a boxing gym called Palm Beach Boxing Club that will now also house Team Hermes Franca.
The gym can be found at 1611 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, Fla. Interested parties can call at either 561-833-2131 or 561-319-6608.
- Ricardo Arona told Tatame that he has not signed with M-1 but he has received offers from organizations in Canada and the USA.
“I did not close with the M-1. I heard very on this for ai, but I did not receive no proposal to fight against the Stench. Pra you to be sincere I nor know this event”, I said Arona, that he intends to still make a fight this year. “It arrived some proposals of Canada, of the States and Japan, but I am waiting best the proposal to still close a fight in December”, disclosed the BTT.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that Hardcore Championship Fighting in Canada was interested in acquiring the services of Arona. HCF has been on a tear lately signing the likes of Aleksander Emelianenko, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
- MMA Madness caught up with Ken Shamrock to get his thoughts on a variety of subjects including his brother, Frank Shamrock.
MMA Madness: Frank has openly stated he’s willing to fight you. Is the feeling mutual for you?
Shamrock: Do you want the complete and honest truth?
MMA Madness: Yeah, let’s hear it.
Shamrock: Frank is the kind of guy who will only fight someone if he thinks he can beat them. He won’t fight me unless he talks enough crap that he gets pushed into it by the fans. He might even price himself out of the fight just to get out of it. He’s done that before. He walks around saying he’s the Lion’s Den guy and this and that. He was probably my third best guy when I was training them all, behind [Jerry] Bohlander and [Guy] Mezger. Also, Frank has problems against people who can take him down and he knows I would take him down. Look at his fight against Renzo [Gracie]! I can knock him down and punch him out. He’s my brother and all, but don’t think for a second that I wouldn’t fight him.
- MMA Junkie has teamed up with “The Bubba the Love Sponge Show” and will become the MMA content provider for the show’s official website.
Sherdog: Akiyama to Fight Kang in Korean HERO’S
Sherdog: New Japanese MMA Event, Association Introduced
MMAWeekly: Karo Not Worried About Facing Chonan
The Fight Network: Manager Snubs IFL
UFC: Sylvia’s Quest for a Third Belt Begins Saturday
Steve Sievert recently sat down with PRIDE Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson to collect his thoughts on the UFC’s current way of paying their fighters. It seems that Randy Couture wasn’t the only one unhappy about the situation:
“It seems like guys could be happier,” Henderson said. “Part of the problem is that they had a couple, three bad shows and got killed in Ireland (at UFC 72) on the money. And, possibly the fact that they spent a boatload of money buying Pride and didn’t do anything with it; they are trying to make some cutbacks, and the fighters aren’t overly happy about that.”
The most interesting excerpt from the interview was when Henderson revealed that he had actually turned down a proposed contract extension from Dana White prior to UFC 75:
The 37-year-old Team Quest fighter has one bout left on the Pride contract he brought with him to the UFC. White offered an extension, but Henderson didn’t bite. He thought the offer was low and chose to take the fight against Quinton Jackson at UFC 75 under the terms of his Pride contract, which left him with no opportunity for a fight bonus.
Despite assurances from White that he would be taken care of in the UFC, Henderson is waiting for what he thinks is an equitable offer.
“He was telling me that, ‘We haven’t had guys leaving. We take care of the guys, that’s why they’re happy. We don’t want guys that are unhappy,’ ” Henderson said about initial negotiations with White. “I haven’t seen that.”
At this point, though, Henderson isn’t ready to follow Couture out the UFC door. His preference is to stay with the organization and he wants to “give the UFC a chance” to bring another offer to the table.
So now it’s not only the disagreement of what weight class Henderson should fight in that’s holding things back, it’s his contract now too…
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia discusses his loss to fellow former champion Randy Couture at UFC 68 and why Brandon Vera, his scheduled opponent at UFC 77, might not be as talented as everyone believes he is with ESPN.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture discusses his recent resignation from the UFC and the reasons behind it with ESPN SportsCenter anchor Brian Kenny. Kenny also reads some quotes from UFC President Dana White concerning the situation.
UFC color commentator Joe Rogan made an appearance on The Underground yesterday providing his thoughts on Randy Couture’s resignation from the UFC.
“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.”
Yesterday UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture announced that he was severing all ties with the UFC after they failed to land top ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. As Rogan stated the problems seemed to run deeper then just Fedor. Couture was quoted saying, “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.”
For all of the details on the Couture resignation check out the following links:
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.
This day already had a lot of news going around. Well I’ve got some news alright.
Brian Knapp of The Fight Network is reporting that UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture has decided to leave the UFC, citing the UFC’s failure to sign Fedor Emelianenko as one of the main reasons for him walking away:
In South Africa shooting scenes for his lead role in the upcoming feature film “The Scorpion King – Rise of the Akkadian,” Couture made the announcement official in a letter to UFC president Dana White. The UFC’s inability to land PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko played a prominent role in the decision to walk away, according to Couture.
“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.”
This is absolutely insane. I don’t even know what to say right now. A huge blow to the UFC. I’ll have more on this throughout the day/night.
Update 3:07 PM: MMA Weekly has confirmed Couture’s resignation from the UFC with representatives of the Xtreme Couture training facility.
Some immediate reaction from the fellow blogs and others:
Five Ounces of Pain: Report: Randy Couture leaves the UFC!
Bloody Elbow: HUGE NEWS: Randy Couture Leaves UFC
MMA Junkie: Report: After UFC’s Failure to Sign Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture Leaves UFC
UFC Mania: No Fedor, No Couture: Reigning UFC heavyweight champion resigns
Wrestling Observer: Couture quits UFC
MMA HQ: Randy Couture Leaves UFC
UFC Daily: Report: Randy Couture Leaving the UFC, Vacating Heavyweight Title
Sprawl N’ Brawl: Couture leaves the UFC!!
411 Mania: Randy Couture Quits UFC
FOX Sports seems to be the only “mainstream” news source to have picked up on the story so far.
Update 3:32 PM: Sherdog chimes in with some exclusive quotes from Couture himself:
“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.”
So it seems that Couture’s decision goes far deeper than just the UFC failing to grab Fedor. It’s almost like a flashback of 1997, when Couture first encountered problems with the UFC.
Update 4:08 PM: UFC President Dana White has released this official statement on the situation:
“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.”
Couture’s agent has stated that Randy’s contract was on a fight-by-fight basis. However Dana says that Randy is still under contract with him no matter what. Hmm…
Update 5:32 PM: An official statement via Randy’s official site.
CP: Couture retires from UFC
Baltimore Sun: Shocker! Randy Couture quits UFC
Yahoo! Sports: Couture stuns MMA world with retirement
NBC Sports: For Couture, a matter of Pride
Five Ounces of Pain: Randy Couture and Dana White release statements
More and more people are pointing out that Randy hasn’t announced his “retirement” which continues to lead me to believe that a battle between Couture and White is inevitable when it comes to Couture’s status with the UFC. Of course this could all mean nothing if White’s remarks about his promotion of Couture were just like his claiming of Josh Barnett still being under contract with Zuffa earlier this year.