When news broke that longtime UFC legend and dual-division multiple-time champion Randy Couture had signed a deal with rival network Spike TV to work with rival promotion Bellator, anyone who has followed the sport just knew there was going to be some form of fallout.
UFC President, Dana White, has never been shy about making his opinions known, no matter the subject, and all fully expected him to begin a kind of scorched earth policy against Couture.
As of right now, while it looks like Couture couldn’t even pay for a ticket to attend a UFC event, there has been little in the way of retribution from White.
He’s spoken about his feelings on the subject (h/t MMAWeekly.com), told anyone who would listen that Randy’s son, Ryan Couture, will not suffer in any way, directly or by proxy, due to the separation, and aside from that, there has really been nothing else.
Fans of the sport were expecting something, but most of us were not expecting the level of restraint White is showing on the subject.
After all, this is the man who has freely and openly denied Frank Shamrock, one of the best fighters in UFC history, a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame, for no other reason than he simply doesn’t like him.
Any time Frank Shamrock’s name gets brought up, White rips into him as if the man had never been a fighter of note in his life.
So why wouldn’t we think that Couture might get the Shamrock treatment, given that what Couture has done was expected to be viewed by White as nothing short of traitorous?
Well, if there is one thing White has shown us in the past, it’s that he’s unpredictable. No one expected him to throw Jon Jones under the bus the way he did over the UFC 151 fiasco.
On the other hand, White has shown that he can mend fences with anyone; all you need note is his reconciliation with Tito Ortiz.
So, for now, it looks like no more news is the news when it comes to the topic of Randy Couture vs. Dana White, and that is probably for the best.
But that could all change when Couture becomes a prominent face on Bellator broadcasts; if Bellator begins enjoying success, thanks to Couture, White may aim his displeasure at Couture more freely.
And if the Bellator reality series becomes a hit?
There is no telling just how aggressive White will become. He may even go to the lengths to alter the UFC’s image so that it seems Randy Couture never existed.