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« | Home | »

Press Conference Coverage of UFC and Randy Couture

By Jeff Comstock | October 25, 2007

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By Jeff Comstock

No time for a breakdown of all of today’s news, so read these articles to get the 411 on all of todays announcements.

Fightlinker has by far the funnest live blog of the UFC press conference.

UFC Daily has details on the new Spike TV deal , and a complete rundown of the UFC press conference.

MMA Weekly tells us Why Randy Couture Left The UFC.

Sam Caplan has a recap of Dana White’s press conference.

MMA NEWS the official press release on the new UFC/Spike TV deal.

Five Ounces of Pain Couture Says Resignation Was About Respect and Money.

Bloody Elbow employs some new technology for their live blogging.

Bloody Elbow also has a new contributer (me) who is previewing this weekend’s MMA action. Check out previews of:

SHOXC: Elite Challenger Series

BodogFight Presents: Sportfight 20: Homecoming

Art Of War 4: Mississippi Mayhem

And tomorrow K-1 HERO’S Korea 2007

Topics: All Topics, Jeff Comstock, MMA, UFC | 24 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

24 Responses to “Press Conference Coverage of UFC and Randy Couture”

  1. HDNet conference video:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2531791763317077010

    There’s probably a ProElite stream that might be superior or at least more complete. HDNet cut out before the questions were finished.

  2. Jeff Comstock says:

    thanks for sharing Jeremy (not that Jeremy)

  3. Anonymous says:

    horrible journalism from Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, who is suprisingly taking a very pro Dana White stance on the whole White-Couture debacle.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/news?slug=ki-102507couture&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    I also love the part where Iole said Dana is taking the high road after he just got done calling Randy a bitch in a beaty saloon or whatever he called him in his previous Iole-written press release/article

  4. IceMuncher says:

    It’s not really that surprising. Kevin is “brown-nosing” it up. He writes up positive articles on behalf of the UFC, they reward him by giving interviews and inside scoops. It’s a win-win for both of them.

    I’m not bashing the guy. It’s a job, and it pays the bills.

  5. David says:

    K-1 Heros is an exciting card! Garcia, Kang, Akiyama, Bernard Ackah, etc.

  6. Ivan Trembow says:

    Yeah, but it’s not on American PPV, so even hardcore fans who want to buy it on PPV can’t even do so. That’s pretty messed up.

  7. Zack says:

    Ivan…if you really want to watch it live, hit Zach up for my email address.

  8. Blocker says:

    man o man Randy is screwed

  9. I’m going to defend Kevin Iole. His job is to report the facts and give some context to them. He did that in a fairly straight forward manner in the linked article. If Dana White said he had a check in his hand, then that’s what Iole is suppose to report just same way Randy said he didn’t get any signing bonus. That in no way implies that Iole is saying Couture is a liar nor is he passing judgement. The facts speak for themselves. Should Iole have verified the check in hand exists? As a journalist, you would hope that he doesn’t simply take White’s word for it, but like many of these reporters, they are on deadline and hopefully, he will follow up on this story later. Stop hating on the man for doing his job.

  10. catch says:

    I’d be inclined to agree, GameCritics… If it weren’t for the near entirety of his body of work consisting of lazy pro Zuffa articles seemingly without any fact checking or followups. Why would he start now? And what does he have to offer that the hundreds of more accomplished, not to mention more interesting, diverse, and knowledgeable MMA writers don’t? I see nothing, and I wish that one of the aforementioned other MMA writers had his position.

  11. Tomer Chen says:

    Sports writers essentially (or even actually) being on the payroll for a team, promoter, etc. has been a tradition since the beginning of the sports press. Legendary early 1900s Boxing promoter ‘Tex’ Rickard used to ‘give ice’ (bribe with cash) a number of sports writers, including legendary writers like Damon Runyon. The ‘quid pro quo’ of favorable writings for cash (essentially the sports equivalent of payola) or for better scoops has been a staple of the sports industry and even if Kevin Iole was doing it for the better scoops (which I don’t know for certain), he wouldn’t be the first.

  12. I don’t understand Iole’s article. He states that his figures were $13-$15 million, then comes to a conclusion that Couture potentially made $1.8 million for the Sylvia bout, plus the $250,000 purse against Gonzaga. Even if he got some Pay-Per-View bonuses for Gonzaga fight without the fight bonus, that still doesn’t come close to adding up to $13-$15 million at the end of the 4 fight deal unless Zuffa substantially up’d his compensation in the last two fights, which may have been a possibility.

    He then starts the rumor mill with comments stating the M-1 may have offered him a multimillion dollar deal. If Couture felt getting the cold shoulder was disrespectful and then was offered a ridiculous deal with M-1, why wouldn’t he want to leave and take that deal? I don’t see the problem. Sure, it’s stupid to try to do so because of his contract stipulations, but I don’t see why he should be thrown under a bus because he wanted more money. I think the false figures he is mentioning angered him more.

    “Whatever he’s making, the truth is, Couture feels that because of his accomplishments, he should make more. But the simple fact is that he had the bad timing to come along at the sport’s birth.”

    That’s his explanation, Iole’s explanation is that it was bad timing? I don’t buy it. The sport has progressed so much and figures are thrown around left and right, whether they are true or not is a different story, but Zuffa is making a significant chunk of change and not trickling down the profits to some of their fighters. Do I think Couture deserved a lot more? No, but at least give the guy a damn bonus for defeating a fighter that many considered better.

    “But Willie Mays never made the money that the many lesser players who followed him made. And 10 years from now, the money the fighters make will dwarf anything they’re making now. The problem in this mess is that Couture wants the 2017 money in 2007.”

    What? Fedor was being offered much more money according to the figures. Dana concludes that the figures on the ‘Net were complete bullshit, but I think it’s safe to say that he was being offered much more than what Couture was making. 10 years from now? How about today. There are fighters making more than Randy, and he is considered one of the top heavyweights in the world and isn’t being paid what some of the guys ranked below him are. Of course, this is all based on numbers that we have no idea if they are correct or not.

    Slap me down at anytime guys.

  13. cyphron says:

    Fiveouncesofpain reported that Randy showed his bout agreement to reporters. Randy also claimed that he usually receive only $500k for PPV bonuses… well, if that is true, then I can see why Randy would be P.O.ed. 750k =/ 2 million.

  14. Luke Thomas says:

    “I’m going to defend Kevin Iole. His job is to report the facts and give some context to them. He did that in a fairly straight forward manner in the linked article. If Dana White said he had a check in his hand, then that’s what Iole is suppose to report just same way Randy said he didn’t get any signing bonus. That in no way implies that Iole is saying Couture is a liar nor is he passing judgement. The facts speak for themselves. Should Iole have verified the check in hand exists? As a journalist, you would hope that he doesn’t simply take White’s word for it, but like many of these reporters, they are on deadline and hopefully, he will follow up on this story later. Stop hating on the man for doing his job.”

    I could not possibly agree less. Tomer’s right in that sports journalism is a little looser with guidelines that try to separate bias from reporting, but even that is changing. Historical proclivities notwithstanding, Iole’s articles on this topic have been little more than facts bookending opinion. It’s beyond transparent at this stage and quite frankly, unsettling.

    I don’t know what Yahoo! Sports is trying to accomplish, but I’ve had enough. Other media sources are guilty as well, but Yahoo! is a bigger and ostensibly more prestigious outlet. They need to find more writers like Meltzer who are much better about not infusing opinion with reporting. To even suggest what Iole writes as “journalism” is to render the term meaningless. Again, I realize sports writers have more license to play with the editorial and ethical guidelines, but this is downright abuse.

    Ultimately, all of this “reporting” and using Iole as White’s media conduit just muddies the water of fact and reality that much further. He’s adding much more confusion than clarity to this process and as a consequence, absolutely tarnishing what little credibility he had to begin with.

    Josh Gross may be guilty of doing this on the other end of the ideological spectrum, but at least Gross is competent about understanding the sport, it’s history, and it’s players. I doubt that much can be said for Iole at this juncture.

  15. catch says:

    http://mma.img.napkinnights.com/pics/albums/mma/102507coutures/1021.jpg

    A pic of Couture’s bout agreement for those who may be interested.

  16. Ultimately, all of this “reporting” and using Iole as White’s media conduit just muddies the water of fact and reality that much further. He’s adding much more confusion than clarity to this process and as a consequence, absolutely tarnishing what little credibility he had to begin with.

    I’m not a big follower of Iole’s work so I’m basing my thoughts mostly on the linked article in this thread and how he’s being treated with the same kind of automatic bias as Dana White.

    I think its Iole’s right to raise the issue that he asked Couture pointblank about the payscale months ago and Couture said he was happy (which is why at the conference Iole asked about why raise this now). That’s stuff that’s on the record and Iole wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t cite that. I also didn’t feel in the article in question that he was overly pro-Zuffa and anti-Couture. The overall tone was sympathetic towards Couture likening him to another legend Willie Mays. I think he plays it pretty close to the middle on this one and if anyone disagrees, cite the parts where he’s bias.

    Leland, you have to understand that its not Iole is saying this or that. Its his sources and as a reporter, it doesn’t mean he’s advocating it or saying its the truth. He’s just obligated to report stuff that he can substantiate through fact checking and sources.

    If anyone wants to link to an article where Iole compromised his integrity as a journalist, I’d like to read it and see if it is indeed true.

  17. Dan says:

    Kevin Iole is the only reporter who ACTUALLY GOT BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY yesterday, and yet people are saying he’s a bad journalist. It’s laughable. really.

    And Tomer, implying that Iole is on anyone’s payroll because someone took a bribe from PT Barnum a hundred years ago is pure horseshit. You have zero evidence.

  18. Zach Arnold says:

    Kevin Iole is the only reporter who ACTUALLY GOT BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY yesterday, and yet people are saying he’s a bad journalist. It’s laughable. really.

    Your IP on DNS Stuff traces to a Yahoo server. Admittedly, I do like Yahoo mail.

  19. Tomer Chen says:

    And Tomer, implying that Iole is on anyone’s payroll because someone took a bribe from PT Barnum a hundred years ago is pure horseshit. You have zero evidence.

    Considering I said:

    and even if Kevin Iole was doing it for the better scoops (which I don’t know for certain), he wouldn’t be the first.

    I don’t know what your point is. But thanks for not reading my post/trolling, though.

  20. Michaelthebox says:

    Leland: First, Fedor doesn’t deserve significantly more money than Randy, but he DID deserve a significantly better contract than Randy signed, and that is the key difference. Randy signed a contract for good money at a time when he was thought of as an old man who probably should stay retired.

    The fact that we know better now doesn’t change the fact that he signed a contract at a time when it was laughable to think of him as a top-10 heavyweight. If he wants to break the contract, fine by him, but the UFC has every right to hold him to it as much as legally possible (which I expect will be nine months).

    Second, the sport is definitely still at its birth. Zuffa is making a large chunk of change, but Zuffa DESERVES to keep a healthy sum of the profits, as much of the profits they are making are completely independent of the fighters. Any idiot can put together a boxing PPV and make good money, but the UFC is the only organization that is capable of making good money with an MMA PPV.

    The reason for that is that MMA is way behind boxing, but the UFC is such a well-run organization that it has built the brand at great cost and large monetary risk. They should be fully compensated for that. Moreover, they aren’t just putting the profits in their pockets, they are actively working to continue building the brand and the sport in new markets, which will greatly benefit the fighters in the long run. If the fighters had it their way, they’d get all the money, and the UFC would never grow, and MMA would take decades to reach the level the UFC is going to take it in a quarter of the time.

  21. dice says:

    Gamecritics
    “Leland, you have to understand that its not Iole is saying this or that. Its his sources and as a reporter, it doesn’t mean he’s advocating it or saying its the truth. He’s just obligated to report stuff that he can substantiate through fact checking and sources.”

    WRONG!!!!
    You couldn’t be anymore wrong with this statement.

    He is obligated to report the stuff he believes is true. If he didn’t think his source was reliable enough then he should have never reported it. There is a big difference reporting something someone said and giving their name, as to identify who made the statement; But if you write something quoting one of your “sources” then the burden of truth is shifted to you, because you are vouching for that source. (btw I don’t know of anyone that believed Ioles figures when they first came out, even UFC nuthuggers were skeptical, just ask 45)

    Iole was exposed as a complete hack yesterday and you got people trying to defend him. He stood by a report that turned out to be completely false.

    I agree with you that it is Iole’s right to ask why he(randy) was happy months ago but not now. But it is such a silly question because its as though he refuses to pay attention to what randy has been saying recently. A lot changed in those few months, namely randy found out what other guys were making and the fact he didn’t get a bonus check for his last fight.

  22. Ultimo Santa says:

    Leland Roling, you nailed it on the head.

    Randy Couture was being disrespected – a lot – and deserved some gratitiute for staying with the company, turning down the BoDog fight vs. Fedor, and for taking the title off Tim Sylvia. That alone was worth at least a $1M bonus.

    When you’re Randy Fucking Cuture and Dana White is turning down a free hotel stay or a couple tickets for a family member? That’s insane.

    It was only a matter of time before some of the figthers that Dana has been fucking over left the company. If M-1 keeps making good offers and UFC keeps screwing fighters over, there will be more stars leaving.

    Not only that, but UFC had AMPLE opportunity to sign Fedor…why didn’t they? Becuase they’re greedy, and don’t want to share the hundreds of millions with the fighters. Paying Fedor what he’s worth would mean having to pay OTHER fighters what they’re worth, and Dana isn’t willing to fork over a bunch of fair paychecks.

  23. The UFC didn’t sign Fedor because of the retardo terms Vadaslobovich or whatever that douche’s name is wanted … non-exclusive contract and a partnership in russia plus god knows what else. Honestly, you can’t give in to everything an athlete wants or you end up fucking over the sport completely.

    As for Kevin .. well, I’ve already said enough. He is embarrassing himself though .. wouldn’t surprise me if a couple more months of being treated like the village idiot of MMA journalism and he slinks back to boxing where he belongs and lets Meltzer lead the MMA coverage.

  24. I think the ridiculous thing is that Randy said that he knew he was signing a contract that wasn’t giving him what he was worth when he signed it.

    Why did he do that?

    I’m trying to work out some reasonable scenario there. He says that UFC called him, and said they needed someone to fight Tim. All along, UFC and Randy have been saying that Randy called UFC and wanted to fight Tim.

    There are so many instances of he said she said here…

    Then Randy pulls out his contract and says that this is what he was getting paid, while moments later giving people a huge comic wink when he says that he was upset because he didn’t get the post-fight bonus that is above and beyond the contract. A bonus that apparently he was used to getting.

    Well, the bonus isn’t in the contract, Randy. How much were you paid?

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