Earlier this week, Dana White was a guest on the Dave Carmichael show, a sports talk radio show in Sacramento. According to many people in the industry, Dave has a good reputation with Dana White and has been able to get some great interviews for several years from Dana White. A few interesting little tidbits came up in the interview that would make the drama queens of the MMA fanbase go on a gossip run through the “bitches in beauty salons”. Specifically, comments were made that hinted at some of the future possibilities in the UFC’s heavyweight division. Let’s speculate and analyze some of these rumors. Dana White stated during the interview that he had spoken with Randy Couture as recently as the night before and that the fans should “stay tuned” for any happenings with that situation. He also mentioned that we should “never say never” when it comes to an eventual Randy Couture vs. Fedor Emelianenko showdown. Very interesting.
My first connection between both statements is the fact that in order for White to set a matchup between Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko in the UFC, Couture would have to once again be on the same page as the organization and his own contract. He would have to agree to actively be fighting for the organization. White didn’t comment on the Couture situation, but stating that we should “never say never” in the concept of a Fedor vs. Couture showdown would mean big things in the arena of Couture’s contract.
Is it possible that Dana White has offered to re-negotiate Couture’s contract? If the champion was going to come back and defend his belt in the UFC, I would think so. White has also stated in the past that he has never said “No” to Randy Couture, hinting at the possibility that Couture could ask for more money or a re-negotiation. Also, this allows Couture to accept a title bout with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, a fight that many fans have seen as a potential danger to Couture. This sets up a lot of possibilities if Couture decides to only fight his remaining fights on his contract. There are other speculative possibilities.
Couture could potentially decide that he will retire, but Zuffa could accelerate his contract by creating the Sylvia vs. Nogueira fight for the title. Couture could loom in the background waiting for the UFC to try to “rent” Fedor Emelianenko from M-1 Global for a superfight in the UFC that would have no implications on the title picture. This same scenario could be done in any number of ways as well. We could see Couture simply fighting his two remaining fights and trying to get Fedor for a retirement fight. The possibilities are endless, but in the end, the actual probability of the fight happening is fairly low. With rumors circulating that Fedor could be fighting Barnett in Newark by early next year, surely Fedor’s management will try to field offers by the UFC if they so happen to come knocking.
The one factor that is much different with the current situation is that Fedor is with an organization that has met his every demand. The only factor is a negotiation with another organization is money. We all know that the UFC has money. This may actually go down as a much smoother deal if it actually happens. Of course, the UFC runs many risks by bringing an outside fighter in to fight one fight. There are obviously reasons why Zuffa tries to not do this type of “renting” of fighters. If Fedor comes in, beats Couture, people can arguably say that the best of the best in the heavyweight division isn’t in the UFC. Right now, you can make an argument that the best does sit in the UFC. Simply put, it can tone down the credibility of the strength of the division. I would disagree, but Fedor knocking off the top UFC Heavyweight fighter and having destroyed Nogueira in previous fights, we can only lay claim to Tim Sylvia being a man who could beat him.
Of course, there are many more possibilities. I won’t go through every single rumor or possibility that could happen, but the mere fact that White has even hinted at the possibility that Couture could be back, and then to hint at the fact that it is possible that the UFC may try to “rent” Fedor. Very exciting stuff, although I doubt any of this will ever happen. The most probable item is the fact that Couture could come back to the Octagon. I could see that actually happening for the mere fact that we know the Zuffa details to his contract. I think Couture will try to fulfill his contract. Hopefully we will see Nogueira vs. Couture because I believe Couture is pushing himself as the greatest even though he has yet to take on the granite chin and superior grappling of Nogueira.