Randy Couture’s deal is with Spike TV, not Bellator MMA.
Many people share the misconception that Randy Couture has cut a deal with Bellator MMA. He has not.
The UFC Hall of Famer’s contract is with Spike TV, and just happens to include being a coach on the “Fight Master: Bellator MMA” reality show. In fact, all of the coaches' deals are with Spike TV.
“I have to clarify that because my deal is with Spike. It's for TV shows, both scripted and unscripted potential shows. I've never been to Bellator. That was the first time I've ever met Bjorn (Rebney), was at the press conference, so I'm not involved in any way, shape, or form with Bellator, just to clarify that,” Couture told Knockout Radio, an MMAWeekly.com official content partner.
“My deal is to train athletes for this reality show that will get the opportunity to fight in the tournament for Bellator, and that's about the extent of my commitment, at least at this stage of things, with the organization and the promotion of Bellator,” Couture added.
“I think that is a distinction that is largely misunderstood and maybe lost on Dana (White). He's not one for details. But at the end of the day, that's the reality of it.”
For Couture, the Spike TV deal is an opportunity to pursue his acting career and expand the reach of his brand, as well as mentoring young fighters.
“I think there are some opportunities for some scripted series. Spike wants to develop some new stuff that's their own, their own cable-type shows. You've seen FX and a lot of other places that are developing those types of things: The Walking Dead, Justified. There's a ton of shows like that out there that are scripted television that are fun. I enjoy a lot of those shows, so if I get the opportunity to continue to refine and hone my acting skills in that type of setting, it would be crazy for me not to get on board and be part of it,” he said.
UFC president Dana White was not happy with the way Couture handled his transition from the UFC to Spike TV, but Couture and Spike TV knew it would be this way going into the deal.
“I think they understood when they came to me and asked me to get involved in this what it meant to me and what kind of trouble we were in for and what I was in for with regards to Zuffa and Dana. They had a longstanding, six-and-a-half year relationship with Dana. They know Dana as well as anybody.
“I think they've respected that. They've stepped up with the offer they made me and the commitment they made to me is genuine and very solid,” said Couture. “So I'm happy to be involved.”