The Press Conference Wars

Somewhere Vince McMahon must be smiling. First, Randy Couture announces he’ll be holding a press conference to discuss his resignation from the UFC. A couple of days later, coincidentally or not, the UFC decides to hold a press conference to announce their new TV deal with Spike beginning 30 minutes prior to Couture’s. Never a boring day in the world of MMA. Some of the main points discussed were:

  • The UFC has signed a new deal with Spike TV that runs through 2011. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Their current deal expires in 2008 meaning this new one will run for three-year. There will be at least four more seasons of The Ultimate Fighter and twelve Ultimate Fights Nights (four per year from ’09-’11). Also, a brand new “fight series” will be launching in 2010. No more details of this new fight series were made available.
  • UFC president Dana White said he did not schedule this press conference at the same time as Couture’s press conference. He claims it was simply a coincidence.
  • White said he has yet to speak to Couture and is waiting for Couture to call him back. However, in his press conference, Couture said he spoke to White and Lorenzo Fertita yesterday. Hmmm.
  • When asked about Fedor Emelianenko signing with M-1, White said that he was disappointed they couldn’t agree on a deal but that in all his dealings with Fedor’s management not once did they ever talk about Fedor. “It was always about his managers.” He also said “Fedor sucks. He’s not even in the top 5.” He also called Fedor’s agent, Vadim Finklestein, “a fucking liar.”
  • The deal with HBO is dead. The UFC is looking elsewhere. The reason they love Spike TV so much is because they have never tied them down. Spike allows them to look for partners, as well. HBO wasn’t as flexible.
  • Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva and Brock Lesnar were also on the call.
  • Liddell never really thought about retiring after the Jardine loss and is not concerned with his last two losses. He thinks that a win over Silva will propel him back into the title picture.
  • White said that the winner of Silva-Liddell will definitely be considered a number one contender.
  • White said that the UFC is dying to come to Canada. A Montrealer can only hope…

Take a listen to the UFC press conference. White is asked to address the Couture situation right off the bat.

UFC Press Conference – 10/25/07