UFC Press Conference: Couture's Compensation Roughly $3.0 Million This Year

October 30, 2007

The war of words between Randy Couture and Zuffa over Couture’s departure from the UFC continued at a press conference this afternoon in Las Vegas attended by Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Zuffa CFO John Mulkey.

Mulkey stated that Randy Couture’s total compensation package from the company will come to roughly $3.0 million this year. That figure represents what the company is characterizing as a $500,000 signing bonus (half up front, half after the Sylvia fight), $200,000 per year from an employment agreement, $56,000 in commentating fees, $1.186 million for the Sylvia fight ($250k downside, plus PPV bonus based on 534,000 buys), and $1.072 million for Gonzaga fight ($250k downside, plus PPV bonus based on 485,000 buys).

White opened the press conference by saying that he hates talking about money and believes that athletes talking about money is the biggest problem with professional sports today. “Most of our guys don’t like to talk about money,” was a line that White reiterated at several points during the press conference. Fertitta said that the company was forced to protect itself by holding the press conference because of gross misrepresentations made by Couture.

White dismissed the idea that public disclosure of compensation might make sense moving forward, saying that most of the fighters do not want there compensation public. White added, “I hate talking about money, it makes me sick.”

When asked about his initial reaction to Couture’s comments, White said, “I felt like I got kicked in the throat last week when this happened.” However, he left the door open for reconciliation, “If Tito Ortiz and I can work things out, I’m sure me and Randy Couture can.” White mentioned Couture’s comment that he was “not necessarily a bad guy” several times during the press conference and was clearly personally hurt by the remark.

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