Couture wants 2017 money in 2007



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



 In 2006, I interviewed Couture for a story I was writing – one that angered White greatly – for the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the apparent low pay he and other UFC fighters were earning.


He not only didn't complain, he said he was happy with what he earned.


He has the right to change his mind, obviously, and I would support wholeheartedly any professional athlete's desire to get the best contract the market will bear.



He's clearly at the height of his earning potential and popularity after his title-winning effort over Sylvia in March and his gritty stoppage of Gonzaga in August at UFC 74.


When you've felt you haven't been paid, respected or treated the way you should have, you don't "resign" when you're suddenly at the peak of your powers and about to be able to command more than you've ever made, unless there is a Plan B.


An Emelianenko fight is Plan B.



White contends Couture must fight twice more, and not simply sit out the remaining nine-month term, for the contract to be fulfilled and Couture to win his freedom.


Couture said during the news conference that he said he asked for a signing bonus prior to signing the four-fight agreement that is in effect. He said he was flat refused and that part of his anger stemmed from the fact that he believed other fighters were receiving signing bonuses.


White, who said that by speaking about his promotional agreement and bout agreement that Couture was violating a confidentiality clause, flatly denied that.


"Randy Couture said he didn't receive a signing bonus, but not only did he receive a signing bonus, he cashed the check on Jan. 30," White said by telephone from his office. "I'm holding it in my hand right now. The check was dated Jan. 15 and he cashed it on Jan. 30.


"I'm not going to debate Randy in the media," White continued. "I understand he's not retired. So, fine. He's in the best fighting shape he's ever been in and so I'll put a fight together for him in February, because Randy is under contract with the UFC."


White said he paid Couture $120,000 for a 2001 fight with Pedro Rizzo on a card in which the UFC lost "hundreds of thousands, maybe a million." He said that less than seven years later, Couture is making more than a million per fight.


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.


The sport is growing and the athletes who follow are going to do better financially because of the efforts of men like Couture, Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock, among others.


They took the bumps and bruises to help build mixed martial arts into a growing and widely accepted sport.


But it's the way of the world that the pioneers aren't rewarded like their successors.


Willie Mays never made the kind of money that the stars in Major League Baseball are earning today, yet I haven't seen a center fielder in the majors who comes close to being the player Mays was.


Randy Couture is the Willie Mays of MMA.


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.


And as great as he is, Couture probably won't be fighting when he's almost 55.


"But it's the way of the world that the pioneers aren't rewarded like their successors.

Willie Mays never made the kind of money that the stars in Major League Baseball are earning today, yet I haven't seen a center fielder in the majors who comes close to being the player Mays was.


Randy Couture is the Willie Mays of MMA.


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."


Your comparison of Willie Mays to Randy Couture, in terms of talent and charisma is apt.  That is where your analogy ends, and logic begins to disappear. 


Willie Mays played Major League Baseball from 1951 through 1973.  His salary topped out at $180,000.   But examine the revenues generated by baseball at the time Willie Mays played, and that will explain the salaries.  In 1965, Major League Baseball ended blackouts in big cities, and got a WHOPPING $6.5 miliion for exclusivity, and split that figure amongst the teams. In 1959, the game of the week was introduced. 


In 1964, Six clubs that exclusively played nationally televised games on NBC got $1.2 million.  Fast forward to 1988, and what happened?  CBS alone agreed to pay Major League Baseball about $265 million each season for broadcast rights.  This goes a long way to explain the salary disparity that existed between former baseball stars, and the stars of today.


Does this analogy really apply to the UFC, who admittedly, outperform all other sports except the NFL, who are worth over a billion dollars now, and who as Dana likes to say, have rendered boxing the sport of our grandfathers?  Do you really mean to say fighters, for no other reason than the passage of time (10 years in your article), should wait to share in the revenue that ALREADY exists today?

can't say i'm a big fan of kevin lole, he's more a zuffa pr guy than a reporter.

-Macedawgg

How does the UFC makes more money than NBA/MLB? Thanks to Mayweather and Oscar + a slow year, I think even HBO affiliated boxing crushed UFC this year in total revenue. Do you mean % profit? And remember, PPV revenue isn't the same as a TV contract. You don't have the PPV company taking 40%~ off the top before Uncle Sam gets his share.

Give us some sources and numbers here.

If anyone deserves that kind of loot....it's Couture.

Newbiebad--

The UFC doesn't generate more revenue that baseball or football.  The things I posted above were in response to Iole's analogy comparing Couture to Mays in terms of the low compensation.  Iole goes on to say that in 10 years, fighters will earn much higher pay.  The problem with Iole's analogy is that Mays pay was low, because revenue was also low. 

That is clearly NOT the case with the UFC.  The UFC is a billion dollar company.  They generate PPV sales in the hundreds of millions each year.  I'll post cites soon.

A better comparison would be Muhammed Ali or Jack Dempsey, both of whom made an incredible amount of money for their era.

It's silly to compare Couture with Willie Mays.

^^^

Thanks for the headsup on that 614--I will check that out.

Dempsey made $711,000 for his first fight with Gene Tunney and $450,000 in the rematch. Adjusted for inflation, that's close to $11 million today.

Ali made $5,000,000 for the Rumble in the Jungle, $2,500,000 for his first fight with Frazier and $4,500,000 for the Thrilla in Manilla.

Dempsey and Ali were some of the biggest sports figures in the world at the time, particularly Ali. Ali was basically the biggest celebrity on the face of the earth. There is no comparison between Ali and Couture.

Randy is the biggest star in the UFC.

It's a better comparison than Willie Mays, who played a team sport.

He deserves it. He's put in his time.

ttt???

"kevin lole, he's more a zuffa pr guy than a reporter."

  • No kidding.

And what's worse, he's actually starting to put out more and more obvious pro-Dana/UFC propaganda and noticeably taking sides in the whole Randy-UFC situation.

And the whole notion of "Couture wants the 2017 money in 2007" is just preposterous.

MaceDawgg's analogy-analysis has owned Iole's.

Just look at the money the UFC is rolling in at the moment - in 2007 - and then look at their total fighter payrolls.

The bottom line is that the 2007 UFC DOES make the kind of money to justify paying the "2017" money that Randy wants now, and which he probably merits as one of the 3 biggest draws in the UFC (and arguably THE biggest one left at the time).

What's wrong with a guy wanting to get paid?

Professional athletes hold out for more money all the time.