Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has moved on from the UFC, but he believes that Zuffa giving a front-office job to Matt Hughes was a parting shot at him from UFC president Dana White.
I'm sure most people are well aware of the split between Randy Couture and Zuffa by now. Couture signed a deal with Spike TV to work on a Bellator reality show, something that UFC president Dana White wasn't happy about. Couture explained his side of things to a degree, but he took it one step further in a radio interview yesterday. He says that he tried to get the UFC to give him something significant, but the final straw was when they gave fellow UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes a high-profile position in the company. Here's the quote from his interview on Sirius XM Fight Club (transcribed by MMA Mania):
"I gave the UFC and Dana every opportunity to find a way to significantly use me since I retired a year and a half ago. They acted like they were doing me a favor by giving me the four events on FOX a year as a commentator. In my opinion and estimation, (that's) not a terribly significant role in the organization, and the company of Zuffa. So I tried like hell to get them to keep me with the company in some significant way and they had nothing for me.
I made them aware that this offer had come onto the table, that the TV thing was heating up for me, that there were significant offers being pushed to me, but I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to even hear those pitches and could not tell them specifically what was going on or who was offering what.
So, you know, in my professional estimation, they had an opportunity to keep me and use me. They chose not to, and a week later, after this whole thing leaks, they give a job to Matt Hughes in a significant fashion. Frankly that was a big ‘f--k you' to me from Dana. And that's exactly what he intended to do."
Was the sole purpose of giving Hughes the job to bury Couture? Probably not. The two might have had nothing to do with each other. But it's not hard to see why Couture might come up with that line of reasoning. Either way, I'm sure these two (Randy and Dana) will continue to belittle each other in the press for a while longer.