Couture/White's War of Words
There has been much speculation surrounding what Randy Couture calls his “resignation” from the Ultimate Fighting Championship and what the company's president, Dana White, refers to as Couture’s “retirement.”
Through confidential investigation, MMAWeekly has been able to obtain the common language of the typical Zuffa, LLC agreement relating to a fighter's "retirement." (Zuffa is the parent company of the UFC.) It is unclear if this is the exact language in Couture’s contract, but sources have confirmed that this is the standard language used:
“If at any time during the Term, Fighter decides to retire from mixed martial arts or other professional fighting competition, then ZUFFA may, at its election, (i) suspend the Term for the period of such retirement; (ii) declare that ZUFFA has satisfied its obligation to promote all future Bouts to be promoted by ZUFFA hereunder, without any compensation due to Fighter therefore; or (iii) elect to provide Fighter with notice of an Acceleration.”
Based on White’s repeated public statements, it is clear that the UFC is interpreting Couture’s statement of resignation as retirement. Taken in the context of the above provision, this explains why White continues to state that the UFC has nine months remaining on Couture’s contract as Zuffa has elected to "suspend" or stay the term of his contract.
Further, the use of the term resignation in describing a person's choice to not perform under a contract is unique. Typically, when a person decides to not perform pursuant to the terms of a contract, the person is considered to be in "breach of the contract," not resigning from the contract.
However, when a party allegedly breaches a contract, he/she is able to argue facts that justify and validate why he/she breached the contract, which can/may excuse them from performing under the contract. This may be why Couture is saying he is "resigning" from Zuffa as he is claiming that the UFC failed to perform its obligations by not acting in good faith and for its alleged misrepresentation about his pay scale.
As there are countless treatises on the subjects of personal services agreements, the right to earn a living (Couture fighting elsewhere) and involuntary servitude (the 13th Amendment; Slavery – forcing Couture to fight for the UFC), this is definitely a fight for the attorneys to wrangle about in court.
Before this issue does become a legal wrangling, Couture plans to launch the next salvo in this war of words on Thursday at his Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas, where he has scheduled a press conference to respond to White’s recent comments and the accusations made by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports in regards to Couture’s alleged payout per fight.
The State Of The UFC Middleweight Division: Post-UFC 77
In a preview article I wrote ahead of UFC 77 I forecasted that Silva v Franklin II would be nothing like the original meeting of these Middleweights way back at UFC 64. Well, I was half-right. It took Anderson Silva twice as long to dismantle his opponent as it did in the first fight, picking up the victory at 1:07 of the second round – a victory fashioned in much the same way as the first fight, with heavy reliance on his knees and clinch game. As the Cincinnati native crumpled to the ground in front of his hometown fans, not only did Rich Franklin lose the fight, he lost the chance to ever reclaim the Middleweight Championship as long as the strap is around Anderson Silva’s waist.
In the interest of healthy competition, it would have certainly livened things up a lot if Franklin was able to dethrone the current champion and set up the rubber match for 6 months from now. That would, at least, have been a six-month stay of execution for what is a very weak 185lb division. It’s obvious to see that this division is in serious need of a shake up. You’ve got a seemingly unbeatable champion who occupies a different plateau to that of the next best guy, Franklin, who has in turn already beaten the likes of Yushin Okami, Jason MacDonald and Evan Tanner.
The only fight out there, of the guys currently on the UFC roster, which might be of any interest to Anderson Silva would be Okami. First off, Okami holds a win over Silva from a couple of years back, a disqualification as a result of an illegal kick from Silva. Perhaps Silva could go on a Chuck Liddell-like quest, trying to avenge all the defeats from earlier in his career. Recent Zuffa signing Ryo Chonan fits into this category too.
An Okami v Silva rematch would be an interesting fight. Yushin Okami is a very difficult fighter to face, one who rarely engages his opponent unless it’s on his own terms. Okami could certainly be the first fighter in the UFC to take Silva beyond the second round. While it appears that he’s not the most entertaining fighter to watch, his record is very impressive, having only been finished once in his 26 fight career.
Another possible opponent for Silva would be the Dane Martin Kampmann, a very strong muay thai practitioner and solid in most aspects of the game. He is currently rehabbing a bad knee injury suffered in the lead up to a fight against Rich Franklin last June. He’s been solid in the UFC so far, holding wins over Thales Leites and Drew McFedries. It was interesting to note, however, that McFedries was dominating the stand-up aspect of their fight for large periods until Kampmann locked in a tight arm triangle for a submission victory. That would need to drastically improve before a potential meeting with the champ, one of the slickest strikers in all of MMA.
There are two fighters, though, both currently under contract to Zuffa who would represent a major threat to Anderson Silva. PRIDE’s Welterweight (183lb) Dan Henderson is one, but he seems content to stay in the Light Heavyweight division for now. A unification bout for the PRIDE and UFC Middleweight titles would be a marquee match up and I’m sure that this is the fight that Dana White and Joe Silva want next for Anderson. Another option would be to promote WEC Middleweight champ Paulo Filho to the main UFC roster. His solid jiu jitsu game would certainly give Silva something to worry about but his stand up definitely lacks the cutting edge of the champ and this fight could certainly go much the same way as Silva’s successful title defence against Nate Marquardt.
If not any of the names I’ve already mentioned, then who else is there? A lot of people were championing the name of Terry Martin, saying that his prodigious power would be too much for Silva. That, of course, was up until Chris Leben, a fighter Silva beat in 49 seconds, knocked him out. Perhaps Matt Lindland’s Olympic standard wrestling would neutralize Silva’s strengths, but probably not and he’d be left with the realization that, along with the losses to Fedor Emelianenko and Quinton Jackson, he’d have been defeated by three of the top pound for pound fighters in the world, in three different division in the space of a little over a year.
What about Denis Kang? Well Dana White and Zuffa had the opportunity to sign Kang to a contract after the acquisition of PRIDE but don’t seem to be enamoured by his obvious talents.
Where does all this leave Anderson Silva? He’s sitting pretty at the top of a very weak division, more talented in almost every aspect of the game than his nearest competitors. The division needs to be turned on its head, its needs some new blood or we’re going to be seeing Anderson Silva at the summit of the 185lb mountain for a long, long time. And hey, that’s okay with this writer to be perfectly honest.
Thiago Silva and Paulo Filho join Gabriel Gonzaga in Ludlow, Mass., camp
“Gabriel Gonzaga put Ludlow on the mixed martial arts map. His manager, Marco Alvan, is trying to make sure it stays there. Alvan has added two renowned fighters to his Team Link stable, which already includes Gonzaga - a top heavyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Thiago Silva is 11-0 and will fight at next month’s “UFC 78? in Newark, N.J., while Paulo Filho is the middleweight champion of UFC’s sister promotion - World Extreme Cagefighting.”
Interesting aside: In the article Filho confirms his rumored WEC 185-pound title bout against former UFC welterweight contender Frank Trigg on December 12. Good fight.
MMAWEEKLY WORLD MMA RANKINGS UPDATED
The latest MMAWeekly World MMA Rankings were released on Wednesday, October 24. This system ranks the top ten MMA fighters from all across the world in each of the six largest weight classes, as voted on by MMAWeekly.
We take into consideration a fighter's performance in addition to his win-loss record, head-to-head and common opponents, difficulty of opponents, and numerous other factors in what is the most comprehensive rankings system in the sport.
As always, fighters who are currently serving drug-related suspensions are not eligible for top ten consideration.
Here are the current MMAWeekly World MMA Rankings, which are up-to-date as of October 24.
HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (over 205 pounds)
#1 Heavyweight Fighter in the World: Fedor Emelianenko
2. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
3. Josh Barnett
4. Randy Couture
5. Tim Sylvia
6. Gabriel Gonzaga
7. Andrei Arlovski
8. Mirko Cro Cop
9. Fabricio Werdum
10. Aleksander Emelianenko
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (205-pound limit)
#1 Light Heavyweight Fighter in the World: Quinton Jackson
2. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
3. Dan Henderson
4. Chuck Liddell
5. Wanderlei Silva
6. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
7. Keith Jardine
8. Forrest Griffin
9. Ricardo Arona
10. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION (185-pound limit)
#1 Middleweight Fighter in the World: Anderson Silva
2. Paulo Filho
3. Matt Lindland
4. Denis Kang
5. Rich Franklin
6. Robbie Lawler
7. Nathan Marquardt
8. Kazuo Misaki
9. Yushin Okami
10. Frank Trigg
WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION (170-pound limit)
#1 Welterweight Fighter in the World: Matt Serra
2. Georges St. Pierre
3. Matt Hughes
4. Jon Fitch
5. Josh Koscheck
6. Karo Parisyan
7. Diego Sanchez
8. Jake Shields
9. Carlos Condit
10. Marcus Davis
LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION (160-pound limit)
#1 Lightweight Fighter in the World: Takanori Gomi
2. Hayato Sakurai
3. Gilbert Melendez
4. Tatsuya Kawajiri
5. Shinya Aoki
6. Gesias "JZ" Calvancante
7. Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro
8. Joachim Hansen
9. Joe Stevenson
10. Mitsuhiro Ishida
FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION (145 pounds and under)
#1 Featherweight Fighter in the World: Akitoshi Tamura
2. "Lion" Takeshi Inoue
3. Antonio Carvalho
4. Urijah Faber
5. Masakazu Imanari
6. Hatsu Hioki
7. Jeff Curran
8. Yoshiro Maeda
9. Tenkei Fujimiya
10. Rafael Assuncao
Dana never fails to impress!
"The UFC will hold a media conference call tomorrow to announce a new television deal. And whether it’s mere coincidence or a calculated maneuver, the UFC will begin the call 30 minutes before Randy Couture’s press conference kicks off in Las Vegas."
Randy Couture: Hero or Joke?
Before you start flaming... I love Randy!! You can search my posts, and you won't find a single post of me saying one bad thing about him (except some borderline comments when it comes to money). I did not post this as a blow to Randy's reputation, and I don't necessarily agree with the manner in which the author of this states some of his thoughts. The reason I just to post this is because this guy makes some good comments. Obviously he is wrong about the numbers ($250,000++ per fight)
"Randy Couture said he wasn't getting enough respect—which of course implies that the respect of millions of fans across the world and hundreds of other fighters wasn't sufficient enough for him.
Instead, Couture needed the approval of a fat, bald, ex-boxer and two money-grubbing brothers. I don't see how money could have been such a huge problem—Couture was making at least $100,000 a fight."
Jens Pulver: A Fighter And A Survivor
Jens Pulver is recognized as one of the top MMA fighters today, and a very tough guy in the cage. But he also had a very tough childhood and is perhaps fortunate to be alive today.
Excellent column, it's another story that displays how fighters are very different when they're outside the ring or cage compared to when they're inside. Pulver deserves a lot of credit for being willing to open up about his past like he did.
Is M-1 a scam?
Let’s ignore for a moment that M-1’s main financial backer Michael Baybak is part of a religion that has a reputation for bilking it’s members of all their money. I’m not the religion expert, so I’ll let Jake deal with that specific issue. What I do want to talk about is how this guy also has a reputation for artificially boosting his stocks and then selling as soon as they’re high:
Neither man agreed to be interviewed for this story, yet both threatened legal action through attorneys. “What these guys do is take over companies, hype the stock, sell their shares, and then there’s nothing left,” says John Campbell, a former securities lawyer who was a director of mining company Athena Gold until Baybak and Gerbino took it over.
UFC 77: Kalib Starnes on skull cut that stopped fight (Pic Included)
“Two layers about 15-20 [stitches] in the meat, and 15-20 in the skin…. It cost me about five times as much as I made just to train for that fight, I took a huge financial loss, I’m more upset about that than I am about losing actually. I left with $4,800 after taxes and deductions. Every time I fight I gamble with my health, reputation and financial well being and to have a cut just detroy all my hard work and personal sacrifice like that, I can’t help but wonder if it’s even worth it.”
Wanderlei Silva vs Chucl Liddell now OFFICIAL!
Dana recently announced it on Spike TV's Scream Awards. And now it is made completely official as of ufc.com
Originally this fight was supposed to happen some two years ago, but the PRIDE people wanted in the PRIDE ring and the UFC people wanted it in the UFC's octagon so nothing ended up happening. This could have also happened in the 2003 PRIDE GP but Rampage beat Chuck via second round KO.
Then this fight was also supposed to happen at UFC 76 but Wanderlei was just moving into the US so he needed more time to train. When the ufc sent wand him his contract, it had two options, one was fighting in Sept. and the other option was to fight in Dec. And he chose Dec.
Now the fight that fight fans have been waiting years for is now just out of reach. It wont be long now... Two of the most dominant champions of the two best MMA organization finally facing off against each other.
(For announcement video)
UFC Champion Rampage need your help!
The Champ needs YOUR help !!!!!!!!
I received an email today from Joe Lauzon. It seems that Rampage is trying to get MMA into his Hometown..... But in order to do that he needs you to sign a petition. Lets show some love from MMaPlayground.com and sign this !
The Tuesday Takedown 10.23.07
In this week's edition of The Tuesday Takedown, we'll break down the happenings at UFC 77, where Rich Franklin goes from here, who's left for Anderson Silva to fight, what Brock Lesnar's signing means to the UFC, and much more. As always, we'll also take a look at the latest news from the world of mixed martial arts!