Couture Quits UFC

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NME
10/11/07 2:51:35PM
At the height of its power and popularity, the Ultimate Fighting Championship today lost the man many recognize as the face of mixed martial arts. UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture announced his resignation from the Las Vegas-based promotion, leaving two contracted fights, his job as an on-air analyst and his heavyweight crown on the table.

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grappler0000
10/11/07 2:54:26PM
WTF? Someone shed some light here. I hope this isn't real. Wouldn't his exclusive contract prevent him from signing elsewhere? My head is about to explode.
StorminYourman
10/11/07 2:54:28PM
sucks
DoTheMMAth
10/11/07 2:54:55PM
Wow... what the hell?!?!

So who fights for the belt now? I assume the winners of Kongo vs Nog and Big Timmeh vs Vera?

Man... I was hoping that by the end of October it would be inked: "Fedor vs Randy". Now we have neither
szucconi
10/11/07 2:55:08PM
April fools? This is shocking. Are you sure this didn't come from Frank Trigg?
Basshandsome
10/11/07 2:55:47PM
This is Crazy! I dont understand why he would do this.....
richieb19
10/11/07 2:59:52PM

Posted by Basshandsome

This is Crazy! I dont understand why he would do this.....

It isn't the first time he's vacated the HW title...
adamsb
10/11/07 3:00:40PM
this sucks i hope its not true
NME
10/11/07 3:01:43PM

Posted by Basshandsome

This is Crazy! I dont understand why he would do this.....



He really wanted to fight Fedor. Fedor represented the next big challenge to Randy. At least, that's what he's saying at this time.

There's already speculation that Randy will fight Fedor in M-1. There's also speculation that his retirement is a way to escape scrutiny from a possible issue with performance enhancing substances. And the presumptions are only going to be more outrageous as more outlets get wind of this news.

What a crazy week for the sport of MMA.
NatedawgThaM
10/11/07 3:02:33PM
It's ALL DANAS FAULT!!!! If it wasn't for them letting Fedor get signed somewhere else Randy quits! It only makes since for #1 to fight #2...

Sucks, but I guess the #1 heavyweight in the world is BIG NOG?
KingNewt
10/11/07 3:02:57PM
Please tell me this is just a rumor. Im going to flip if this is true. The Russians are to blame for all of this!!!!
pv3Hpv3p
10/11/07 3:05:05PM
Any way someone could copy and paste the article, the sites blocked at work... Thanks
NME
10/11/07 3:05:23PM
More Info, this time from Dave Meltzer.


It is known Couture was one of the top UFC fighters who was unhappy when reading about the huge money guaranteed in the company's offers to Emelianenko, because he felt he and a few others were the fighters who helped build the current popularity and they weren't getting guaranteed income for fights anywhere near that level, particularly since they were bigger drawing cards.


If money is the sticking point, I would fully expect Zuffa to back up a Brinks truck in Randy's driveway at this point.
NME
10/11/07 3:06:26PM

Posted by pv3Hpv3p

Any way someone could copy and paste the article, the sites blocked at work... Thanks



Per your request:


MMA Icon Walks Away From Promotion In Stunning Move

By Brian Knapp

At the height of its power and popularity, the Ultimate Fighting Championship today lost the man many recognize as the face of mixed martial arts. UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture announced his resignation from the Las Vegas-based promotion, leaving two contracted fights, his job as an on-air analyst and his heavyweight crown on the table.

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.”

His abrupt departure deals a significant blow to the world’s most visible MMA organization. Couture was not only a beloved competitor – White once called him “the greatest fighter in UFC history” – but also a revered spokesman for a company that had long struggled to gain mainstream acceptance.

“Randy’s contract was on a fight-by-fight basis, and that’s the way he said he was always going to take it – fight by fight,” said Matt Walker, Couture’s agent at The Gersh Agency. “His acting career is accelerating at an astronomical rate, and without the support he felt some of his peers were receiving in the fight business, this was the logical choice.”

A three-time All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State University, Couture won four national championships in Greco-Roman wrestling and made four attempts at qualifying for the Olympics. He made his MMA debut at UFC 13 on May 13, 1997, where, at age 33, he won a heavyweight tournament, defeating Tony Halme and Steven Graham on the same night. Just seven months later, he toppled famed kickboxer Maurice Smith in Yokohama, Japan to win the UFC heavyweight crown for the first time.

Over the course of the next decade, Couture emerged as one of the most decorated mixed martial artists in history. The UFC’s only six-time champion, he captured the heavyweight belt three times, the light heavyweight title twice and an interim light heavyweight title, as well. Couture remains the only man to win UFC championships in two weight classes.

His run through the promotion included a memorable trilogy with light heavyweight rival Chuck Liddell, the only opponent to beat Couture twice. Following his third bout with Liddell in February 2006, Couture announced his first retirement.

As 2007 dawned, his desire to compete returned, and a four-fight contract with the UFC – which included the opportunity to fight Tim Sylvia for the heavyweight strap at UFC 68 in March – was presented to Couture. He accepted, and the wheels for an historic comeback were set in motion.

Couture floored Sylvia with an overhand right seconds into the bout and punished the 6-foot-8 giant over five rounds. Playing to chants of “Randy!” he regained the heavyweight title for an unprecedented third time in front of 19,049 fans at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Five months later, at the age of 44, he defeated rising contender Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74, stopping the young Brazilian by third-round TKO despite suffering a broken left arm. It would be his final appearance in the Octagon.

Couture (16-8) leaves behind an unrivaled legacy in the sport. Fifteen of his 24 career bouts were title fights, and he bested six former UFC champions – Liddell, Vitor Belfort, Tito Ortiz and Sylvia among them. Always willing to meet a challenge, Couture consistently tested himself against the world’s premier fighters. The 19 men he fought (he squared off with Pedro Rizzo twice and Liddell and Belfort three times each) hold 357 victories between them.

wrona666
10/11/07 3:10:22PM
It sucks but it is understandable. At randys age he wants to fight the best and only the best so if he cant do that then why fight.....At least thats the way i took the article.....
MattHughesFan
10/11/07 3:10:24PM


Say it ain't so Randy
Sam_Rothstein
10/11/07 3:12:12PM
This is a sad day in mma :(
brooklynbadass
10/11/07 3:19:58PM
WHOA

now who is number 1?
BigTomZ
10/11/07 3:23:34PM
I can understand why he would do this. Besides the money issues, which I agree he and some other guys deserve lots more. He wanted to fight Cro Cop but that never materialized, then the Emelianenko fight never materialized either. Now he has to fight guys who aren't considered the best in the world and get paid less to do it.

Both the financial and competitive incentives have evaporated, at least from his point of view, and it is understandable he would want to walk away.
dstlvb
10/11/07 3:24:22PM
The HBO deal falls thru and now the face of a sport who also happens to be the face of your company quits. I see some cracks in the UFC foundation
D0wnUnd6e6r
10/11/07 3:26:47PM
Really?
Djbb
10/11/07 3:29:55PM
I'm saddened by this news, but I'll try to see the bright side. Maybe CroCop will step his game up and be the new face of the UFC?
thepunisher
10/11/07 3:34:13PM
WTF no Fedor, Randy retires man the last 2 days have just turned the HW division on it head
htownstunna713
10/11/07 3:34:29PM
i cant believe that... i agree with him tho cuz i bet ufc can be a bitch and since he aint gone fight the best in fighting fedor, id look for a diff way to get money too especially if the other thing is starting to go really well. he has had an amazing career and will leave dat ufc legacy forever
bullettdodger
10/11/07 3:34:41PM
i sure am glad i didn't het randy's face tatooed on me arm after he beat tim and gabe... still sad though. Gonna miss the natural
thepunisher
10/11/07 3:40:53PM
yeah i was going to get a tattoo of Randy's face on my face it would have been sweet
Jujiden
10/11/07 3:42:05PM
Watch Couture go after Fedor for a 1 fight deal at M-1. He'll get it. M-1 wants to make a name for themselves. And if Randy goes, watch others follow: Barnett, Cro Cop, Hunt, Vera after he gets tired of UFC (since he's been calling out Fedor. Check the thread under UFC and Pride "Fedor: The way it is."

We told you so
snakeplissken
10/11/07 3:43:35PM
If this is true and the UFC haven't confirmed this yet. Then sure it's a blow, but then it opens up the opportunity for someone to jump in there. The way results have been going this year I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a Brandon Vera Vs. Chieck Kongo HW Title match with Kongo winning!!!

Calling Mirko Cro Cop... Redemption is at hand....
DNor
10/11/07 3:46:55PM
Wow, a terrible day for MMA. I wish Randy the best, and congratulate him on going out as a champion once again.
This really shakes things up in the Heavyweight division, I hope Big Nog can get his hands on that UFC belt.


Jujiden
10/11/07 3:49:28PM

Posted by thepunisher

yeah i was going to get a tattoo of Randy's face on my face it would have been sweet




awesome! Yeah, it's sad, but he will still be producing great fighters from his camp and maybe go after Fedor. But we can only hope. If that happens You can get that Randy tattoo and I'll get a Fedor tattoo on my face also just to keep the dream alive.
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