All Randy Couture wants is the one thing he’s constantly earned over his 10 year MMA career: Respect.
Couture held a public press conference earlier today at his Xtreme Couture training facility in Las Vegas, Nevada to discuss his reasons behind resigning from the UFC just two weeks ago.
Couture was quick to point out that he doesn’t want to do any harm to the promotion that caused him to become one of the most recognizable athletes in the world.
“I talked to Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta on the phone yesterday and I told them both that I’m not trying to hurt the organization in any way,” said Couture. “I told them how I felt. There weren’t any shouting matches or anything like that. Dana made particular comments that he’d like me to come back but based on the responses that were put on the table I don’t see it happening right now.”
“I’m tired of swimming against the current,” continued Couture. “I just want to be treated the way that I deserve and I haven’t been treated that way in a long time. If I would have come out and made inflammatory statements about the UFC and how I was being treated then it would have made it worse while I was still fighting and talking about contracts. I didn’t try to create a big buzz and I didn’t want to start anything. I simply laid out my feelings about why I was resigning.”
Couture went surprisingly in depth about his problems with the company, including the two events that finally caused Couture to decide that he didn’t want to deal with the problems anymore.
“I’ve felt this way for a long time and finally it was the last straw that forced me to make a decision,” said Couture. “On top of that was the offer to Fedor. He was being offered more in his signing bonus then I’ve ever been paid to fight. I wasn’t going to ask for a renegotiation of my contract even if Fedor signed. I guess anything is possible but I think it’s time to move on. The UFC has stated time and time again that I’m the number two fighter paid in the UFC on base salary What they do is they come in your locker room after the fight and give you a bonus check. I got that for the last Chuck fight, I got that for the Sylvia fight and I didn’t receive one after the Gonzaga fight. There was no explanation given to me.”
When asked about the concept of residual checks from pay-per-view revenue, Couture said that he didn’t have a problem in that aspect and had been receiving those checks on a regular basis.
“In terms of residual checks, 90% of it comes 90 days after the fight and then little parts come in within the following year,” stated Couture. I’ve gotten those ever since my first with Chuck. I haven’t had a problem there at all”
One of the most surprising things that Couture was willing to discuss was the potential for a union among fighters. Couture went onto say that he feels many fighters are being unpaid and incorrectly managed but that a fighter’s union may be able to fix all of that.
There’s a lot of things that could be better for fighters,” said Couture. “You know fighters that are still making $2000 and $3000 dollars to fight… it’s a shame. A fighter’s union is something that’s been talked about for a couple of years but nothing’s happened. I think that a lot of fighters are being mis-managed right now. I think that’s probably why Dana hates managers. Unfortunately because of the UFC and WEC, fighters don’t really have a lot of options. It’s like a monopoly out there. In order for it to work there has to be some fighter at that marquee level that is willing to sacrifice everything in order to make it happen.”
Couture went against Yahoo! Sports columnist Kevin Iole’s claims that Couture was making nearly $3 million per fight because of pay-per-view revenue by handing out a copy of Couture’s bout agreements with the UFC that showed that Couture only made about $500,000 in revenue to date. The extra revenue brought Couture’s earnings to a quarter of a million dollars, far less than what Iole claimed.
Couture seemed confident that his current contract with the UFC only extends to the end of it’s term, which is nine months from now. He also discussed his future plans and how his gym remains one of his top priorities.
“Once the term of the contract ends, it doesn’t extend the fights that are still on the deal,” explained Couture. “The contract is void at the end of the term. However that doesn’t really matter in this case because I’m not trying to go fight elsewhere.”
“The trip to Africa was a real eye opener,” exclaimed Couture. “It allowed me to stop and look back at everything. It allowed me to talk to my wife about our future. I saw this whole thing blow up which really surprised me. I have a lot of guys here at Xtreme Couture that I’d like to help train and watch grow so that’s important to me right now.”