Couture to Young Fighters: “You have a brand… build it up” | MMA NEWS
In a recent interview with BloodyElbow.com, MMA legend and former UFC Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion, Randy Couture, discussed his acting and television career and his recent departure from the Zuffa organization. A well-covered topic last week, Couture described his departure from Zuffa as a weight lifted from his shoulders. “Being in the organization, you have to kind of measure your position, and in a lot of ways, you’re walking on egg shells,” he stated.
Couture, a long-time advocate for a fighters’ union, spoke on other professional means of aiding fighters during and after their careers. “I think establishing some sort of minimum criteria for pay is very important… so that there’s some sort of equality in what the fighters are putting on the line versus what the promoters are putting on the line,” he stated. He also wanted to see “health insurance and some sort of retirement plan,” and even a financial “education process for fighters” so they can learn to manage their earnings to support themselves after their competitive careers. “It’s a tragedy to see, and we see it in boxing all the time, where these guys have made millions and millions of dollars as a competitor and squandered it,” Couture said. A retirement plan or some program that educated fighters in financial planning could benefit the sport greatly.
When asked what fighters should be doing to protect their own interests, Couture responded that “each and every fighter should be forming an LLC [Limited Liability Company] and running everything they do, related to their fighting, through their corporation. Recognizing that you do have a brand. You have a small window of opportunity to fashion your brand and build it up, so that hopefully, it’s strong enough to carry you through the rest of your time once your competitive years have passed you by.” As a former multi-divisional champion, a successful coach, and as the father of a growing MMA fighter, Randy Couture’s advice in this area comes from a life spent in the sport. While he advocates strongly for the UFC and other fight organizations to support their fighters, he also urges the fighters themselves to take a proactive role in the aspects of their career outside of the cage.
Randy Couture’s next adventure comes in Spike TV’s new series, “Fight Master: Bellator MMA,” and three special episodes of “MMA Rescue.” “Fight Master” will be similar to the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter series, and Couture will be coaching alongside Frank Shamrock, Joe Warren and Greg Jackson. “MMA Rescue” will feature Couture helping rebuild failing MMA gyms. In both of these, we can expect to see Randy spreading his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts and, possibly, helping athletes build their careers with due financial diligence.
For the full BloodyElbow.com interview, click here.