Couture/Emelianenko Meet

Written by Tom Ngo
August 12th, 2008

Former/current UFC heavyweight champion, Randy Couture, and reigning WAMMA heavyweight champion, Fedor Emelianenko, were in Los Angeles, California together on Monday with their representatives for a meeting. It has not been confirmed what their meeting was about, however 5thRound.com sources stated that the two fighters and their representatives met with representatives from the Wasserman Media Group (WMG) in their office on Los Angeles’ west side. 

WMG is recognized as a leading global sports management company, representing athletes in all major sports. Their Property and Media division specializes in negotiating television rights, packaging assets and developing investment strategies for sports and entertainment properties.

It is unknown exactly what WMG was pitching to the two championship fighters, however it must have been important as they were both at the office for the entire day.

It has been rumored that the two were meeting about a promotion involving Affliction Entertainment, however 5thRound.com sources confirmed that there were no Affliction representatives in attendance for any part of the meeting.

This is the second time that the two fighters have been seen together, the first was after Affliction’s debut MMA promotion in July where Emelianenko won the WAMMA title. After the bout, the two fighters spoke graciously in the ring about each other, both asking for an opportunity to face off.

Emelianenko is free and clear contractually to fight 45-year old Couture, however Couture is still in the middle of a legal battle with his former employer, the UFC, to be officially relieved from his contract. Couture resigned from the company last October, forfeiting his title.

Couture states that he signed a four fight, 18-month contract with the UFC in 2006. He has already completed two of those fights, however once he found out that the UFC was not going to be unable to sign Emelianenko, he resigned. From his understanding, his contract is set to expire after the initial 18 month period from when he first signed the agreement, which has since passed, even if there are two fights remaining on his deal.

The UFC claims that Couture still owes them the two remaining fights on his contract before he is allowed to fight for another promotion, regardless of time.

Couture has been complying with the one year, non-complete clause from his UFC contract since his resignation. That is set to expire on October 10th, and it is at that point he feels he will be able to face Emelianenko. It is unclear which sides’ interpretation of the contract is correct, as they will let the Nevada Court system figure it out.

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