Randy Couture and the UFC seem to be feuding once again. An upcoming episode of Ink Master on Spike TV this weekend will contain a special message from Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture MMA gym, on behalf of his son, Ryan Couture. Spike has confirmed that this segment will be run “multiple times throughout the night in primetime,” leading up to and during the UFC PPV. This is apparently in response to the fact that the UFC is preventing Ryan Couture from wearing his gym’s logo on his shorts.
Ryan Couture is set to face Al Iaquinta on the Facebook stream prelims of UFC 164 that same night.
Sam Spira, who represents both Ryan and Randy Couture, stated that the UFC has barred the Xtreme Couture logo from appearing on the fighter’s shorts or sponsor banner.
“They won’t let him put a logo on his shorts that acknowledges where he trains, like every other fighter,” said Spira, who added that Ryan Couture had no part in the creation of the Spike TV message.
“This is about Randy and Xtreme Couture MMA,” Spira said. “Ryan has nothing to do with this.”
The UFC has so far declined to comment.
UFC president Dana White and Randy Couture’s mutual animosity puts Ryan in a very awkward position. He was signed to the organization after the Strikeforce acquisition, but after his father left a UFC commentator position for a deal with Spike TV, Dana White reportedly told Ryan that, “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, ever again as long as I walk this fucking planet.”
Dana White reportedly added that Randy Couture would never be allowed to corner for his son at a UFC event. Randy replied that this was “over the line.”
Sam Spira pointed out the double standards being set by White, stating that Greg Jackson, who also coaches alongside Randy Couture on Bellator’s Fight Master, is allowed to attend and corner at UFC events. Additionally, Ray Sefo, who runs the rival WSOF promotion, was allowed to corner for Martin Kampmann recently.
“To sit there and watch that, and yet at the same time not even be able to put a tiny little logo on [Couture]’s shorts and banner when he’s fighting on the Facebook card?” Spira said. “It seems to me [the UFC officials] are the ones who made a decision about what the relationship they want to have with Ryan is.”
Spira added that he was not concerned about possible UFC blowback from the decision to air the message.
“I think we’re reacting to their reaction,” he said. “We’re doing this because they’ve refused to allow him to acknowledge where he trains. We happen to have another venue that is maybe not accessible to other fighters, so we’re going to celebrate that and acknowledge that in another venue. Had they allowed us to, we wouldn’t need to.”