Dana White had his say and now it’s time for Randy Couture to speak out. A week after Dana brutalized his former UFC champion in the press, The Natural is fighting back. Randy has a different take on his departure from the UFC than his former boss.
“I’m happy that he’s gone. I’m happy that he’s gone forever and that he’s with them. I don’t respect him at all. Not even a little. The only time that Randy Couture is ever a man is when he steps foot the cage. As soon as his big toe steps out of the cage, he’s the furthest thing from it. That’s it. That’s the way I feel about him. I don’t at all disrespect what he did in this sport. As much as a man that I think he’s not, he was 100 percent man when he stepped in that cage. It is what it is. And just to clarify to you guys, Randy Couture, it was around Christmas time and his lawyer sends in a letter and bails on the last [FOX] show that he’s doing for us, after they begged me for a fu#king job. So I’m like, ‘What the hell’s going on around here?’ I dig around and I find out that he’s talking about doing a deal with Bellator and Spike. I call his lawyer and I went ‘me’ on the lawyer — is the best way I can explain it — and then I called Randy. I called him over and over again and he wouldn’t even answer his phone. Then he texts me and says, ‘What’s up boss? I hear you’re flipping out. I did not sign a deal with Spike or Bellator but I’m talking to two other networks right now.’ I said, ‘If you tell me that you did not bail on my last fucking fight and go do a deal with them, I don’t give a shit what network you sign with. I don’t care if it’s freakin’ HBO, The Food Network, I could care less who it is. Are you saying you did not sign a deal?’ ‘I did not sign a deal with them. Stop worrying, relax, and have a great Christmas. We’ll talk later.’ To this f**king day sitting right here right now we still have not talked. I knew the whole time that he was doing the deal even when I was talking to him and he was lying to me not even to my face, not even though the phone but through texts.”
Couture is now telling his side of the story and according to the former champ, Dana and the UFC could have prevented this rift. Couture says that he gave the UFC every opportunity to keep him after he retired and it was the UFC who showed very little interest in doing so.
“I gave the UFC and Dana every opportunity to find a way to significantly use me since I retired a year and a half ago,” he explained. “They acted like they were doing me a favor by giving me the four events on FOX a year as a commentator.”
Couture is one of many former UFC pioneers that are largely ignored by the company after they retire due to long lasting personal issues. Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Tito Ortiz, and Couture are all fighters who helped break ground for the company and are left with few if any opportunities while guys like Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell, and Kenny Florian are well taken care of. Couture sees Hughes’ recent UFC gig as a big sign of intentional disrespect.
“In my professional estimation, they had an opportunity to keep me and use me. They chose not to, and a week later, after this whole thing leaks, they give a job to Matt Hughes in a significant fashion. Frankly that was a big ‘f–k you’ to me from Dana. And that’s exactly what he intended to do.”
It’s funny because I have never been a Couture fan but I was thinking the same when I heard Dana come out and blast him. This is a man who the company propped up as the Godfather for years and yet you barely see or hear from him on UFC related events. It seems like Dana wants its all. He wants to screw with guys like Couture and Ortiz yet gets upset when anyone God forbid take a job elsewhere.
Again I am not a big Randy fan and I understand what he tried to pull years ago but the second they brought him back that should have been forgotten. The idea that you’d ban a father no matter who he is from cornering his son is just downright embarrassing. He says he’s happy to see Randy go yet he pulls a power play like that? My thinking then and now is that if Dana was so upset that Randy left, why didn’t you have him under contract in the first place?