M-1’s President and leader of Fedor’s management team, Vadim Finkelstein, has weighed in on Randy Couture’s return to the UFC, and as you might expect, he doesn’t foresee the Randy-Fedor fight happening now that Couture’s back with Zuffa. Finkelstein also had some interesting things to say about Dana White and his motivations behind signing Couture to a new three-fight deal. He even goes as far as saying it reminds him of the UFC’s alleged intentions behind the purchase of PRIDE.
As for his potential bout with Fedor – all the MMA fans are eager to see this happen. The statements mister White still makes about Fedor alert me. It looks as if White is reluctant to let the best fighter in the world fight the UFC symbol. I’m afraid we’ll stumble upon the bricks of the UFC monopoly and the negotiations will lead nowhere. This fight the fans await might never materialize.
Randy has proved long time ago to be America’s number 1, he’s got nothing more to prove but this contract brings him back to the position where he has again to fight younger athetes in order to earn the right he’s already earned to face the best. Randy is a mature fighter and putting him to the test now and again seems not quite reasonable to me. Everyone wants to see Fedor vs. Randy. Apparently Dana plans to destroy Randy by signing him to three bouts. White believes that Couture won’t pass through the hard trial without loss so that eventually the champion will stay with the UFC. Randy is 45 and he defeated a lot of great adversaries but now he is set to face some upstart athlete who Dana intends to turn into the national star if he pulls the victory against the long-time hero. Fight is fight and anything can happen. All this reminds me of the Pride situation when the organization was bought out with the sole goal of completely destroying it.
That’s why it looks like there will be no Randy-Fedor fight ever although we are eager to make it happen, both fighters are eager to get it on.
I don’t know about you, but I get the sense that Vadim and Dana don’t like each other very much. I don’t think Dana signed Randy back to “destroy” him, but make no mistake, the UFC is very well aware that no matter what happens in the Lesnar-Couture fight they come out a winner. That said, I think if they’re rooting for one side, they’re hoping Lesnar pulls out the victory. With Randy’s age, Lesnar has more value to them in the long-run, and I’m sure they’d love for all of the Randy-Fedor talk to go away.
On a side note, MMAWeekly.com confirmed rumors that the UFC-Couture deal almost fell apart in the final hour.
Up until 12:56, however, there wasn’t a final deal. Couture and his lawyers still had objections to the proposed UFC contract. A teleconference of hungry journalists was pushed back an hour. Within the last few minutes before the actual beginning of the press conference, Couture remained outside the UFC offices (he had gone out to take a walk and to talk more freely with his lawyers). A series of phone calls between Couture’s and the UFC’s lawyers played out. The UFC, eager to get their star back into the fold, and Couture, eager to get back into the Octagon, collectively resolved the remaining sticking points, and the deal was done.
Quite a few people have asked how Mark Cuban feels about this situation. After all, he did foot the bill for a large portion of Couture’s legal battle. Surprisingly though, Cuban was quite supportive of Randy.
In the middle of all of this, an unlikely angel appeared to assist Couture. Despite seemingly working against his own interest, Mark Cuban provided advice and counsel to Couture in an attempt to bridge the gap between the parties.
That I didn’t expect.