The former legend of the sport #RandyCouture has had a roller coaster of a career, his own battle in and out of the Octagon with the UFC and has taken up the mantle to battle for fighter's rights with the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association (#MMAFA).
Now, there is another association. After a super exclusive call that lasted two hours yesterday, the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (#MMAAA) is finally here, spearheaded by five giant fighters and former #Bellator CEO, #BjornRebney. Of course, it was only a matter of time before Couture reached out for public comment.
“Am I open to discuss what their goal is and where they are headed and how they see me fitting into that?"Couture said to Bloody Elbow. "I’d be silly not to have that conversation".
“We have a great respect for those five athletes, and we are happy and we are excited that they are standing up,” Couture said. “I think everybody has a question about what Bjorn’s motives are and what exactly is going on there and I think that’ll come out in time. His reputation as a promoter precedes him a little bit and so it’s interesting now that all the sudden he’s for fighter rights and all these things that obviously as the CEO of a major fight organization he didn’t demonstrate that same feeling.”
Opinions about the formation of the MMAAA have been met with mixed reviews, mostly surrounding the aforementioned involvement of the polarizing Rebney. Trying to extinguish some of the torches, Rebney said on the media call yesterday that the reason he hasn't done something like this earlier is that it was 'counter-intuitive' to being a promoter. It's hard not to agree with that.
With fighters currently attached to the MMAFA like Cung Le, Jon Fitch, Leslie Smith and Nate Quarry to name a few, a merger or partnership with even just the five initial fighters (aside from the teased 'hundreds' involved) of the MMAAA would really start to be something. ...But even with Georges St-Pierre, both associations would benefit from the incredible power and leverage a #ConorMcGregor could bring.
“They are only concerned with those athletes that are independent contractors with the UFC. To get all of what we need to get accomplished, we need to unite as fighters, all of us,” Couture said. “I’ve been working with MMAFA for a while and I wanna see the sport change. I wanna see the structure in the sport corrected so that all of us as fighters across the board, regardless of promotion can benefit and get our fair value in an open marketplace and I don’t see those same goals with the athletes association, at least not at this point.”
It's too early to tell at this point and we will certainly be seeing how this new MMAAA group morphs as time passes. Couture does bring up a crucial point that the MMAAA is mainly concerned with UFC fighters, while he himself strives for universal change. One thing is for sure though, Couture wants what is best for the past, present and future fighters of the world and would be up for supporting anything that does that.