Couture: Corner ban was ‘over the line’
When son of UFC hall of famer Randy Couture, Ryan Couture, made his UFC debut he did so without his dad in his corner. The elder Couture recently signed a deal to star in Bellator’s reality series and was subsequently banned from being back stage at any UFC event, including as a corner for his son. Couture recently spoke about the situation to MMAJunkie:
“In my opinion, that’s over the line,” said Couture, whose left his role as a UFC commentator in order to sign with former UFC broadcast partner Spike TV. The decision led to him being effectively banned from son Ryan’s corner when the younger Couture made his octagon debut at the UFC on FUEL TV 9 event in April.
Now that the elder Couture is gearing up for the June 19 premiere of Spike TV’s “Fight Master” reality show, where he’ll serve as one of four coaches, the retired MMA legend said he has no regrets about his decision to leave his UFC gig for a more visible role with Spike TV and Bellator MMA. If anything, he said, White’s verbal tirades in the media only increased “Fight Master’s” public profile.
“Dana did me and the show a huge favor by creating such a media s–t storm over the show and my decision to sign a deal with Spike,” Couture said. “He attracted a lot of attention to a new show. It’s unfortunate because I gave the UFC every opportunity to keep me with the company, and they made the decision to pass. I think there were still some underlying issues from the previous rubs that we’ve had. But at the end of the day, I have to take care of me. I have a family and a legacy and a lot of things I’ve got to protect. If they aren’t going to use me and employ me, I might as well go somewhere else where I can affect the sport, do something positive, and continue to make a living. I have no hard feelings. At the end of the day, it’s all business.”