Vince McMahon

White Attempting to Fix Things With Couture?

Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

While it’s pretty easy to assume that the current relationship between UFC President Dana White and his reigning heavyweight champion, Randy Couture, might be a little rocky considering White’s company filed a defamation suit against Couture earlier this year, things might be starting to get a little better between the two.

White was a guest this morning on CBS and XM Satellite Radio’s “Opie and Anthony Show” (audio here) where he talked about a variety of topics, including his current situation with Couture. As he’s done all throughout the past eight months since Couture formally resigned from the promotion, White had nothing but good things to say about the UFC Hall-of-Famer.

“I have nothing but respect for Randy Couture,” White said on the program. “This guy is a real fighter and he’s always fought the best fighters in the world. So whatever his reasoning his for wanting to sit out for the remainder of this thing, I want Randy Couture back in the UFC. I want him to be a part of this thing for the rest of his life and I’m trying to work that out with Randy right now so we’ll see what happens.”

Whether or not White and Couture are really trying to work something out remains to be seen, but this is the first time in quite a while that White has even mentioned anything related to an attempt to patch things up with Couture.

White also discussed his attempts to sign former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, widely considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. While one of Couture’s main reasons for leaving the UFC was White’s inability to sign Emelianenko, he noted that his attempts were not made in vain.

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Dana Prepping to Rock Our World (Updated)

Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Update 8:00 PM: Dave Meltzer is reporting through Wrestling Observer that the huge announcement the UFC originally planned for this Thursday will now take place next Tuesday instead. Tomorrow’s WWE press conference in New York will also have nothing to do with the UFC.

Whatever this massive announcement set to go down tomorrow may be, Dana White and company have done a good job of keeping it under wraps, well, if we haven’t correctly guessed it already that is.

Along with current UFC heavyweight Brock Lesnar, White appeared on CNBC today (video here) to discuss the organization’s newly-signed deal with action-figure toy leader Jakks Pacific, which will begin distributing various UFC-themed products starting next year. Not that much of a bombshell but it’s certainly a deal that will help the promotion grow even further.

“These are collectibles,” White said today on CNBC’s “Power Lunch”. “Am I saying that little kids won’t play with them? No, I’m sure kids will play with them. There’s an Octagon and accessories and all different kinds of things that kids can play with.”

White also went on to dispel some of the current rumors that are flying around regarding his “mind-blowing big news”. What rumors? Well for starters, there’s the notion that recently retired boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is expected to sign with the promotion. According to White, that’s false.

Things also not happening according to White include a potential television deal with either FOX or ESPN that Sam Caplan and myself as well still believe will be the actual real announcement and the purchase of the company by a group investors led by White and WWE figurehead Vince McMahon that MMA Rated has since proclaimed as debunked, but King of the Cage veteran and resident Underground poster Sean McCorkle says is true.

McCorkle is usually a pretty dependable informant when it comes to rumors like these. Also pretty good at breaking news is Adam Swift of MMA Payout, who has learned that Morgan Stanley has reportedly been working on a Financial deal between Zuffa and another unnamed party, adding a bit more credibility to the potential of White and McMahon joining forces.

Last but not least, we also have to keep in mind that Jakks has been a longtime maker of WWE-related products as well. Coincidence? WWE is also planning on holding a press conference tomorrow in New York City. It was announced on Monday Night Raw last night that the meeting will have to do with the company’s current million dollar giveaway sweepstakes but anything is possible at this point.

I’m still sticking with my television deal prediction along with a few other smaller tidbits (MMA legalized in New York, Chuck Liddell’s opponent for September) to be revealed Thursday as well. It should be an interesting day to say the least.

Cuban and McMahon: Match Made in MMA Heaven or Hell?

From jdlasica on Flickr.

It’s been rumored that the McMahon family has been itching to become involved with mixed martial arts in some form for quite a while now. Those same rumors were similar for popular billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The only difference between the two sides at this point is that Cuban actually did enter the game by way of his fledgling HDNet Fights promotion last year.

In a recent interview with Jonathan Huntington of The Edmonton Sun, Cuban revealed his intentions to partner up with the first family of professional wrestling when asked if he was planning on building a promotion that would rival the UFC along with Vince and company.

“We are looking to partner where we can, do our own promotions where it makes sense,” Cuban said in the interview. “We think the future is built around the fighters and their personalities. No one else has this focus and partnership approach. We think it’s a winner.”

If there were any doubts as to whether or not pro wrestling and MMA would be able to interact and benefit from each other, one needs to look no further than Brock Lesnar’s debut at UFC 81: Breaking Point earlier this month. The event generated close to 650,000 PPV buys according to Dave Meltzer, the third highest total in UFC history.

So is a relationship between Cuban and the McMahons good or bad for the sport? It could turn out to be both.

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