White to Ryan Couture: ‘Dad can’t corner you, can’t even buy a ticket’
If you had any question as to just how betrayed Dana White felt by UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture lending legitimacy to his competing organization–just check out these quotes from the UFC President. White not only informs Strikeforce import Ryan Couture that his coach and Father can not attend any UFC event, but that he will release his contract to ‘deal with Bellator’ if he has a problem with the decision.
“I called Ryan Couture and I said, ‘Ryan, this is probably the weirdest conversation you are ever going to have with me. You signed a deal with us to fight in the UFC. I want you here if you want to be here. But I need you to understand this; me and your Dad are not good. Me and your Dad are never going to be good ever again as long as I walk this fucking planet. I know he’s your Dad and I don’t want to call you up and tell you how much I don’t like your father, but, if you want to leave the UFC,’ because he, Randy, is not cornering him. Randy Couture can’t buy a ticket to this mother fucking event. I said, ‘He’s not going to be around and I just wanted to be up front with you. I want to be honest and be up front.
If you want me to release your from your contract so that you can go do a deal with Bellator, and have your Dad maybe work with you and come up and do whatever, I will do that for you, too.’ He said, ‘ Every kid that has ever strapped on a pair of gloves is dreaming about fighting in the UFC. And if they say they’re not, they are either lying not they are stupid. This is my dream, I want to be with you guys. He’s my Dad and he’s always going to be my Dad. But, this is where I want to be, I worked my whole life to get here.’ And I told him, ‘This is your house, don’t ever feel like it’s not.’ That was something that I had to do, I had to talk to him. The kid is either with us or he is not. And I don’t mean, ‘Oh, you’re either with us or you’re not with us,’ I mean, I want him to feel like if he stays with us, he’s with us and there is no hard feelings for him because of what’s going on with me and Randy or anything like that. I want him to feel comfortable if he wanted to stay. And I wanted to give him the option to go with his Dad, too. I don’t want him to be in some situation where like he says, ‘this guy is getting to fights with my Dad and I’m stuck in a contract with them and I’d rather (not.)’ That’s the whole story, that’s it, and I’d rather not talk about it again.”
During yesterday’s Bellator press conference, the first question on media’s mind for Randy was, how is this affecting Ryan.
“Ryan is his own man for sure,” said Randy Couture. “He’s created his own style and it’s a burden for him to drag around the same last name, but he’s handled it all in stride. He’s had some hard conversations about how it could affect his future in mixed martial arts but he’s comfortable. I know how some of the other guys play, but I think Ryan is gonna be fine. He’s a sharp kid and he’s very diligent. Dana’s made that transition easy and the media storm has been wonderful. You have to respect Dana’s passion, it’s very admirable. I don’t have the answer to the question right now (about cornering Ryan). That’s an athletic commission issue and we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”