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HDNet & Couture vs. UFC

By Zach Arnold | February 18, 2008

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Start with this article by Dave Meltzer. Then, matriculate your way to this column by Adam Swift and response to the column at Bloody Elbow.

Topics: HDNet, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 5 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

5 Responses to “HDNet & Couture vs. UFC”

  1. David says:

    … and realized you just wasted a lot of time. Wait for this one to play out. And similar to my previous comment posts, I have a strong feeling that there is some manipulation behind the scenes that we are not privy to.

  2. dice says:

    “White last year attempted to sign Emelianenko, an offer which included a seven-figure signing bonus and $1.5 million per fight, but the Russian’s management turned it down, claiming it was too restrictive.”

    -Dave Meltzer

    Correct me if I am wrong but that would mean that Dana and Lorenzo weren’t being truthful during their press conference regarding Randy’s contract being worth more than the one they offered Fedor.

    Fedor would have made at least 4 million for his first 2 fights while Randy cleared 2.9 million for 2 fights. Sure with Randy’s PPV bonus he could have possibly made more than Fedor, but that doesn’t seem likely considering he would have had to make up 1.1 million dollars in just 2 fights.

  3. Ivan Trembow says:

    Dice- That is correct, and they also lied to Couture in the first place about him being the second highest paid fighter in the UFC. Meltzer reported that Cro Cop’s minimum gauranteed amount over the course of six fights was $2.4 million, with “way more than” $2.4 million in potential bonuses.

  4. Has this played out the way Randy envisioned? Timing-wise, the resignation seemed perfect: declining PPV sales, Liddell losing the LHW title, declining viewership of TUF, the Xyience and Ampd Mobile bankruptcies, and so on.
    But for the resignation to pay Randy needed to either renegotiate with Zuffa on a new contract or have a significant payday at the end of the process for a fight with Fedor. He seems to have neither at the moment.
    Although we don’t know what happens behind closed doors, publicly there has been no hint of a possibility of renegotiation with the UFC.
    And Fedor’s sell-ability is questionable at best (refer to the 13,000 PPV buys for the fight versus Lindland) and declining with each tomato can M-1 digs up over 206 pounds.
    The legal costs alone are going to be greater than the revenue potential of a Couture vs. Fedor matchup.
    If Couture is donating his celebrity and status to affect the disintegration of the UFC as a promoter unwilling to co-promote with other brands then his attempt is laudable though seemingly misprepared.
    Couture challenged Liddell the first time because I believe he knew how he could beat him. Couture came out of retirement to face Sylvia because I believe he knew how to beat him. I wonder how Couture knows he can come out on top of this one?
    Wouldn’t it have been easier to finish out the contract and use his popularity: win, lose, or draw against the UFC’s heavyweights (couldn’t Couture have insisted Joe Silva give him Cro Cop and Sylvia II for almost certain victories?), to then take on Fedor without the cost of these legal proceedings?

  5. dice says:

    “And Fedor’s sell-ability is questionable at best (refer to the 13,000 PPV buys for the fight versus Lindland) and declining with each tomato can M-1 digs up over 206 pounds.”

    I think its misleading for people to keep using that Bodog PPV number has an indication of how Fedor could never be a draw in the US. First off, the card was on tape delay. Well that hurts any card and usually pretty dramatically (just ask Dana white). Second Fedor was facing a pumped up middleweight instead of a real heavyweight. And third and most important, bodog didn’t push this card that hard in the states? Fedor, if properly introduced in the states could be a big star. Remember a year ago when people were talking about how Rampage would never be able to win US fans over. Bottom line: anyone that can beat top fighters and get a promotional push will be able to generate interest in the states.

    “Wouldn’t it have been easier to finish out the contract and use his popularity: win, lose, or draw against the UFC’s heavyweights…”

    If you look at your statement before this sentence it sounds like your praising Randy for being very smart in knowing his capabilities. And I agree with that assessment. However I think that one with this type of thinking would presume that Randy knew that he only had a fight or two left in him, hence that finishing out his contract and fighting 2 more guys before getting a shot at fedor may not have been the best move for him. So I disagree with you that this would have been easier for him. And yes, 2 straight losses in a row at the ripe age of 44-45 would have lessened the appeal of the fight with fedor dramatically. Right now it is an almost universal consensus that this match up represents the Number 1 Heavy weight vs the Number 2 or 3 heavyweight.

    To Ivan
    I have been a little more than annoyed at what I perceived as a double standard by the media between the Randy and the lorenzo/white press conferences. Randy was subjected to tough analysis and criticism regarding his facts and numbers (and rightfully so). But I was appalled by how subservient the MMA media seemed when it came to criticism of Lorenzos/whites statements. There were more than a few things that Dana said that either didn’t make sense or seemed to contradict a previously made statement of his. And this was just one example I have noticed.


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