Randy Couture has officially burned a bridge with the UFC.
Last week, media sources reported that Couture signed an exclusive deal with Bellator and Spike TV. Shortly afterward, UFC President Dana White responded to the media and spoke candidly about Couture’s standing with his promotion.
While addressing Couture’s situation to group of MMA reporters, White stated bluntly, “Randy Couture can’t buy a ticket to this m—– f—— event.”
This is the latest blow to the reputation of the five-time UFC champion and UFC Hall of Famer.
Couture definitely gambled his future in the MMA industry by accepting a deal with UFC rivals Bellator and Spike TV. What made this more of a risk, however, was Couture’s amateurish way of notifying the UFC about it.
According to White, Couture had his lawyers send the UFC a letter stating he was backing out of his obligations with the UFC on Fox. White added that Couture refused to take his calls, only to send him a misleading text message promising he had no intention of signing with Bellator. That infuriated White.
White told reporters, “We are not unreasonable people. If Randy Couture was a man he’d have walked into our office and said, ‘here’s the deal, I’ve got one more fight with you guys for the Fox thing. I’d like to do it, but I’ve got another offer on the table and it’s with Spike and Bellator.’” According to White, Couture has avoided directly speaking to UFC officials about his decision.
This latest blunder comes on the heels of a very rocky 2012 for Couture. Throughout the year, almost a dozen fighters cut ties with Couture and his training facility, Xtreme Couture. These fighters included the gym’s top lightweights, including Gray Maynard, Michael Chandler and Tyson Griffin. While none of the fighters publicly criticized Couture, it is obvious their departure was no coincidence.
White stated, “I am happy to not be in business with [Couture] anymore.” It appears that a good portion of former Xtreme Couture fighters agree.