Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture has released an official statement on his resignation via his official website, TheNatural.tv:
“Randy is very excited to embark on a promising career in acting, as well as spending more time with his wife and family. He’s currently shooting a lead role in Universal’s “The Scorpion King – The Rise of the Akkadian” in South Africa, and has more offers on the table.
His heart will always belong to the sport, and I doubt he will wander too far away from it, but it was a matter of respect and Randy felt the need to move on.”
In addition to the above statement Couture also spoke with Sherdog about his decision to resign. Here are some excerpts from their interview with “The Natural”:
- “I sent the letter of resignation to the UFC today, resigning not only from my position in the company as a commentator and as an ambassador, but also as the heavyweight champion”
- “The motivation for the decision is two-fold. I know Fedor (Emelianenko) just signed with another organization and that’s the only real fight that makes sense for me at 44 years old as the heavyweight champion of the UFC. That’s the fight I wanted and if that can’t happen it doesn’t make sense for me to compete with all these other guys. And then obviously that’s not going to happen now. And, two, I’m tired of being taken advantage of, played as the nice guy and basically swimming against the current with the management of the UFC. I have a lot of other things going on in my life that I’m doing just fine with. I don’t need the problems. I don’t feel like I get the respect I deserve from the organization, and that’s motivation No. 2 for the letter of resignation that was sent today.”
- “Knowing what they offered him [Fedor], I would have made demands to get paid equally or better than him as the champion. Whether or not those would have been met is another question.”
- “I think the final straw for me was meeting with White and Lorenzo (Fertitta, UFC co-owner) where they claimed I was the No. 2 paid athlete in the organization, which I know is a bold-faced lie. I’ve heard Chuck’s numbers. Tito’s numbers. Hughes’ numbers. Quinton’s numbers. Cro Cop, Wanderlei. I heard what they were offering Fedor, and it’s insulting.”
Additionally, Sherdog reported that Couture must wait 9-months before he could potentially compete for another MMA promotion making a potential fight with Fedor impossible until mid-2008.
In the interim he will reportedly focus on acting in addition to working on further developing his company, “Xtreme Couture”.