The UFC held a press conference at their Las Vegas offices today to dispute recent claims in the media made by Randy Couture in regard to his treatment by the company. The conference was available to the media either in public or via conference call and the public was also granted access through live streaming via UFC.com and Yahoo! Sports.
Involved with the press conference was UFC president Dana White, along with a rare appearance by co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta. Making his first known media appearance on behalf of the company was also the UFC’s chief financial officer, John Mulkey.
At the start of the conference, the UFC announced that they would be addressing specific financial details to dispute some of Couture’s claims and that they essentially would be following the heavyweight champion’s act from a week ago by distributing copies of documents to the media.
The UFC issued a detailed verbal account of the breakdown of Couture’s pay. Before I go over the numbers, I wanted to issue a disclaimer: Mulkey spoke very fast and I was not in attendance so I was unable to receive printed copies of the documents. The numbers I am reciting have not been verified. If you feel there is an error or discrepancy, please e-mail me at: SCaplan8@comcast.net.
According to Mulkey, Randy Couture received a $500,000 signing bonus, half of which ($250,000) was paid at the time of his signing the contract earlier this year. This clearly contradicts Couture’s claim last week that he asked for a signing bonus and was declined.
Dana White explained that it was a true signing bonus in the sense that if Randy, given his age, was injured and couldn’t compete, he’d still get his bonus. As such, they decided to meet his request for a signing bonus of $500,000 but withhold the other half ($250,000) until after his fight at UFC 68 vs. Tim Sylvia.