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It’s not about the money … well, okay it is.

The title of this post pretty much sums up the Randy Couture press conference. Nothing too new came out of this conference except clarification on Randy’s compensation for his last two fights. Where our original Randy Math had Couture making $2.50 per PPV, Randy states he only got 500 grand on 500,000 PPV buys … $1 per PPV. That means he only made $750,000 on the books for his past two fights.

Couture added that after the Sylvia fight the UFC came and gave him an additional half a million dollars as a bonus. The fact that he wasn’t given a “locker room bonus” after the Gonzaga fight was apparently a big deal for Couture.

Oh, and that thing Sherdog was spreading around re: Randy not getting a % of PPV for the Gonzaga fight? Yeah … about that. Turns out he is getting a % of the PPV. He just hasn’t gotten it yet because it takes 90+ days for the PPV numbers to come in and be calculated. Congrats to Sherdog for their selective fact reporting, you guys are awesome.

Over and over he said it wasn’t about money, but over and over Randy kept on using examples where it was about money. I can see how money and respect are tied together … if the UFC respected Randy, they would treat him like a superstar and cover whatever he wants. On the other hand, leaving the UFC because they “didn’t do the small things” like give him extra tickets would be retarded. So rationally, it was the big stuff like the lack of bonus after the Gonzaga fight. And that means it WAS about the money.

Couture’s press conference did serve an important purpose though. Even though his claim that it’s “not about the money” rang more hollow than ever, his claim that he’s being underpaid seems pretty valid now. The fact that he presented all his issues to UFC management two weeks before his resignation and nothing was done is pretty damning too. Finally, he made it clear that he would rather resign and simply make his reasons clear than stick around and create a huge stink. Which is classy in it’s own way, and definately a POV I hadn’t considered before.

  • http://www.signfedor.com AlexK

    We also learned that ProElite.com should upgrade their Economy web hosting package.

  • Swedish guy

    I have to say it again: man that dude looks good.

  • Judge

    Quote: I have to say it again: man that dude looks good.

    As in you would like to make out with him?

  • http://ufc.com jazzn

    Well… good point. He kept saying it the small things didn’t really matter.. ok then what? It wasn’t the big things and it wasn’t the small things.. If they had paid him more he could have tolerated a a few insults or if they insulted him less and given him the tickets and stuff he would have worked for less money. But not both.

    All in all not a very well thought out press conference by Randy and I wonder what he was trying to do.. negotiate with the UFC in public.. or stick it to them in public?

    My prediction: the Fedor – Randy fight WILL happen.. somehow.

  • kermit_01

    Somebody has a man crush….

    I still have a hard time with this. I mean Randy knows he’d sound like an ass to allot of people if he came out and said “I’m not getting paid what I think I deserve.” So he chalks it up to respect. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. He negotiated his contract just a few months ago. Just because someone else comes in and scores a better contract dosn’t mean you can turn into a whiney bitch. I think there are tons of people in the UFC who have bigger room to bitch. Keith Jardine for one seems like a guy who should be bitching. He headlined his last fight and made crap.

    I guess if Randy had faught Tim or Gonzaga and they were making more than him then he’d have room to bitch. So when if he had gone on to fight Nog and he made more when all the numbers were in, from bonuses and PPV’s– if then Big Nog was making more then he could bitch in my book.

  • Matthew Watt

    “and that thing Sherdog was spreading around re: Randy not getting a % of PPV for the Gonzaga fight? Yeah … about that. Turns out he is getting a % of the PPV. He just hasn’t gotten it yet because it takes 90+ days for the PPV numbers to come in and be calculated. Congrats to Sherdog for their selective fact reporting, you guys are awesome”

    When did Sherdog say this?

  • http://www.mma-analyst.com Leland Roling

    The contract that he presented to the press did state:

    $1 per PPV up to 175,000 buys
    $1.50 from 175,000 – 300,000
    $2.00 from 300,000 – 330,000
    $3.00 in excess of 330,000

    If he headlined an event that had $500,000 buys:
    $175,000 + $187,500 + $60,000 + $510,000 = $932,500
    Nearly a million in pay-per-view pay + $250,000 fight purse: ~ 1.2 million dollars

    Unless Zuffa gives him a bonus under the table, how is White and Iole getting $13-$15 million dollars for the entire contract. They must have been planning on dumping huge loads of cash on Randy for his last two fights.

  • http://yahoo.com Jonathan

    I am going to look Kevin Iole number up and call that bastard and let him know that his reporting sucks. I’ll post the number here for you guys as well.

  • yenny

    Respect = Money. Fightlinker, it is about the money, but that’s not all. That’s just one way respect looks. Then there’s ancillary rights. That’s something you haven’t discussed much. What’s the all about? Who holds the rights to use his name and image? It is Couture or Zuffa? How about other fighters, are they encouraged to sign off their image rights to Zuffa?

  • http://www.fightlinker.com fightlinker

    Couture owns his own image rights, as do most fighters. That’s why the UFC isn’t selling Randy Couture t-shirts … randy runs his own merchandising etc.

  • http://tanglebones.com/ Jemaleddin

    So Randy Couture got $1,200,000 a fight and Kalib (“He said he could see my skull!”) Starnes got $7,000. Admittedly Randy is a lot better than Kalib, but is he 171 times better? Even I, a Kalib-hater, have a hard time with that.

    Yeah, he gets no respect. He’s the fucking Rodney Dangerfield of MMA.

  • Cyrus

    Jemaleddin: buddy, Kalib’s way underpaid too. We’re gonna dump more interest in the sport – more money will dump in – more energy force will center on the sport – and more muhammad ali’s of MMA will pop out. That doesn’t happen with dudes getting paid 7K a fight. The smart guys won’t fight for that kinda bullshit. It’s bad for the sport.

  • intenso

    Randy sells 171 times more PPVs than Smelly. So, yeah.

  • Cyrus

    Also, I think it’s funny that Dana’s still like: yeah, yeah, yeah me and Randy are pals – we’ll figure this out and be back to buds as usual, yeah, yeah, love the guy – while he fucks him in the ass over and over. From little things like scheduling a press conference over his, to doing so much spin, to more insidious shit like signing Brock and focusing on him like crazy (oh, there’s the saviour of the world hahaha). Here’s to hoping Brock’s head pops off like a fucking top.

  • Ted Dibiase

    randy is scared of fedor and brock!

  • yenny

    +1 for Brock’s head popping off.

  • http://tanglebones.com/ Jemaleddin

    @intenso:
    I’m willing to believe that there are 171 times as many people who would choose to watch Randy as Kalib. But do you think there’s that much variation in PPV buys? Will UFC 74 (with Randy) sell 171 times as much as UFC 78 (With basically nobody)? Cause I’m figuring that they have a HUGE number of built-in buys, like sports bars and die-hard fans. I’d be surprised if there’s more than 20% variation between one fight and another.

  • Xavier

    Money for fighters will be the downfall of MMA as it has been the downfall of boxing.

    It is far better to have them rewarded for winning than simply paid mucho bucks for showing. You should work your way up, as it provides more exciting fights and far more incentives to win. People should want to get to Randy Couture’s level, it keeps the fight game hungry… hungry athletes are better athletes.

    Couture was clearing a shitload of cash, if you also consider that he was being paid for color commentary as well. He wasn’t only paid for fighting, his wife had a job, he had the side color commentary gig… I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t the second highest paid fighter when all the numbers come in.

  • intenso

    If Kalib Starnes was the best/most known fighter on a card then yes I think there would be a significant variation in buys and ticket sales than a card that features a well known fighter like Couture, Liddell or Tito.

    Randy Couture makes money for the UFC and deserves to get his share. The UFC seems to be like major league baseball before the players unionized. The owner got the majority of the money while the players were tending bar and plowing field back home in the off-season. The fans pay the money to see the players, shouldn’t they benefit the most? Same deal with MMA. I’m not saying there is a huge amount of people that will watch ONLY when Randy fights, but he is one of the faces of the company.

    Also a fighter has such a small window of opportunity to make money. They don’t get million dollar signing bonuses like other professional athletes. They’re a blown knee away from bagging your groceries. And when you think about Randy, he probably wasn’t making anything for the first half of his career. He needs to get paid now.

    I can’t say I really blame Randy, although he should probably consider that he’d be nothing without the UFC’s promotional machine.

  • kermit.01

    “UFC seems to be like major league baseball before the players unionized” and that worked quite well for the players. I know the strike brought in the fans— oh wait thats when I stopped watching baseball. I was a big fan until the strike, then it went away, when it came back I didn’t care anymore. Yea unions…

  • http://www.fightlinker.com fightlinker

    I think the UFC just has to get away from doing all those locker room bonuses. There’s just so much potential for ill will through that kind of shit. Give a guy 500k after a fight and he’ll be very happy. But don’t give him 500k the next time … well, you see where that’s gotten them.

    Never mind that it’s a sleazy fucking way of doing business. Imagine being a fighter and not knowing if you’re gonna get paid enough to live comfortably until after the fight and Dana writes you a check. Heaven forbid something you say is taken out of context or Dana doesn’t like you or something. Just makes everything too personal

  • kermit.01

    I’m all for some bonuses– Fight of the Night, Best Submission, Best KO– just have a set amount and it should be across the board for all fighters. I think if they want to negotiate PPV buys then you could expect to make less base pay. Would you rather make 1 million per fight or 500k per fight with the ability to make 3 million if everything comes together for a fight card? Its a trade off. I guess what I’d like to hear come out of Randy’s mouth is what would be fair? Exactly how much does Respect cost these days in Randy’s book. Stop beating around the bush and come out publicly. I asked for $X, Dana told me to go fuck my self, a week later I resigned by fax. I’d respect that more than all the semantics and talk of respect.

  • intenso

    Kermit, regardless of your personal feelings towards the sport, baseball is doing very, very well. If you haven’t watched since the strike…well, you missed a lot of cool shit.

    The UFC’s business practices are so fucking carney.

  • kermit.01

    Its actually with complete regard to my personal feelings. I’m sure they lost allot of regular fans with the strike. I seriously doubt I’m the only one who didn’t go back to watching.

    While “The UFC’s business practices are so fucking carney” they are the biggest carney around. If they were a carney they’d be the PT Barnum of the carney world.

    Its those ‘carney’ business practices that have made them the number one MMA company in the world. Its easy to bitch and complain about the UFC as a company, but until someone steps up and does it better theres really very little room to bitch.

  • intenso

    So it’s your contention that the players in baseball should have never unionized, should still be getting paid so little they have to get regular jobs in the off-season, have no free agency, etc….all because half a missed season in 1994 pissed you off?

    Every major sport has a players union, and every major sport has had a player strike at some point. And they’re all making a hell of a lot of money.

    I personally don’t care much how the UFC conducts business since I don’t work for them. But Randy Couture has every right to question their business practices because he does. He can stand up for what he believes.

  • kermit_01

    “The UFC’s business practices are so fucking carney.”

    Obviously you do care, or you wouldn’t have brought it up.

    and I never said they shouldn’t have unionized, I said they shouldn’t have striked.

    I live in a small industrial town and while I have a job that will never got out of business working in a hospital- allot of people in this town have trusted their unions. We had a steal works- the union didn’t want to work mandatory overtime they strike. Two years later the business went under and allot of those people who trusted those unions are working jobs where they have to ask “do you want fries with that” just to keep their families fed. We had a Ford Plant, they didn’t like how their vacation was calaculated, they strike. Now most of those people are making less than half working for a japanese parts plant.

    So I have very little sympathy when prosports guys think they aren’t getting paid enough and strike when most should be happy they can get paid to do something that they love while a good precentage of the population is underpaid working at a job that sucks the life out of you or is mind numbingly boring. I don’t feel sorry any prosports guy. They could be working Mandatory 12 hour days at the local boat factory coming home covered in fiberglass smelling to highhell and making $10.00 an hour after behing there 10 years. It those people I feel sorry for.

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