Why Randy Couture pulled out of failed UK expo

Why Randy Couture pulled out of failed UK expo
May 9th 2012

Randy Couture pulled out of failed British mixed martial arts expo MMA Show Live after an agreed fee did not materialise on the due date. Sources close to the situation tell Fighters Only that Couture was to be paid his appearance fee on May 5, but that the date came and went without payment.

After speaking with organisers, Couture’s handlers were left with the impression that there were insufficient funds to pay his fee. Couture subsequently informed the MMA Show Live of his formal withdrawal from the expo.

A second source tells Fighters Only that the MMA Show Live organisers were engaged in “a gamble and game of brinkmanship”. There were 50 top name fighters booked for the event, Couture among them. Others included Michael Bisping, BJ Penn and lightweight champion Ben Henderson.

According to the source, the organisers were calculating that the top line-up would bring in a large amount of sponsorship revenue. One of the sponsors most assiduously courted was the production company behind The Expendables 2 motion picture.

Couture has a leading role in the franchise and the MMA Show Live organisers assumed - wrongly - that the producers could be brought in to a lucrative sponsorship package. Their attempts to land the sponsorship deal continued up until the date that Couture was to be paid, but proved fruitless even after the asking price was repeatedly lowered.

Most of the fighters booked to appear at the event, which was to take place this weekend, learned of the event’s cancellation via online reports, although MMA Show Live representatives appear to have been contacting them after the news broke to confirm cancellation.

Managers and fighters that Fighters Only spoke with said that misgivings had reared up in recent days when airline tickets failed to appear for their flights to the UK. Others noted that they had been sent hotel reservation notices, but that the rooms had only been reserved and had not been paid for.

The MMA Show Live executive team consisted of Paul Clifton, who has a background in the martial arts magazine publishing industry, and Liam Fisher, who was until recently the ’business development manager’ for UK promotion BAMMA.

Neither Clifton nor Fisher was reachable despite repeated attempts. The latter, who was working for Clifton rather than in partnership with him, has deleted his Twitter account and was yesterday directing enquiries towards Clifton, who has not answered any calls nor made any public comment on the cancellation.

The MMA Show Live website currently hosts a cancellation notice but in an accompany FAQ section, it claims that the show is merely postponed until October. Fans are advised that they can return their ticekts for a refund or can retain them until the October show - if it materialises.

But some have already pre-paid their travel and hotel rooms for this weekend’s show, and will be left out of pocket. There is a smaller, more ‘traditional’ martial arts expo taking place in the Birmingham NEC this weekend which ticket-holders can gain admittance to but with no MMA stars present, it is unlikely to be of much consolation to them.


  • Tuba

    Posted at 21:02 on July 19th 2013

    Hi Kyle,Thanks for the email. Yes, there will be an intro class Sat the 1st of Sept at 12 noon. The intro class is FREE and no, you don't have to sign up for it, just turn up wearing gear to train in and we'll take care of the rest. See you there.

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  • Pankaj

    Posted at 16:21 on July 22nd 2013

    Good points John!Through my siedtus and work I have to deal with lack of motivation every day, and I can say that this sort of situation is often due to the theory of Drive vs. Motivation:Motivation is a though process, a decision making process where you weight up all of the costs and all of the benefits of a decision. After you have taken many of them into account, a lot of the time unconsciously, and you have decided that action is a good decision overall, then you can say that you are motivated. Almost every decision you make, every day, has a cost-benefit analysis behind it whether you realise it or not.Drive is the emotional counterpart. Drive is when you feel excited, eager, confident, scared, enthusiastic, etc. The reality is, that you will barely ever have the drive for many tasks before you go into action, even if you are motivated for it. Drive is not a reliable cue to action (e.g. if you're tired after a long days work, the last thing that you feel like is training, but not everyone realises that once they start training they will feel fine).Its all about how a particular person can overcome that situation where they are motivated, but waiting for the drive (e.g. some sort of affirmation? help from a friend?).

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  • Emiliya

    Posted at 14:50 on July 23rd 2013

    Good to hear from you Mike. I always know excltay what to write to get you to pipe up, right? Reasonable people can disagree on these rankings, but Syracuse did just lose AT HOME to Pitt by DOUBLE DIGITS. I understand the Kansas-Cornell analogy by we all know Kansas would beat Cornell 9 out of 10 times. That's the definition of a fluke. Can we say that about Pitt-Cuse? I don't think so. Let me see more and then I will adjust accordingly. As for West Virginia and Villanova, I've had them 1-2 in that order since October and I see no reason to change that right now. Nova losing to Temple in one of those crazy Big 5 games (where upsets are commonplace) doesn't upset the apple cart in my mind. Again, it'll all play out. I actually enjoyed Boeheim's postgame after Seton Hall, even his potshot at the media about OOC schedule strength (at least the quotes were interesting and usable). Much better than the normal blah-blah-blah you get from a lot of the other guys. Bitter, the point about last year's Big East is how it was the deepest league ever. Obviously no league was better at the top than those mid-80s Big Easts. If it makes you feel better the next time it comes up I will put an asterisk and a footnote making this distinction. Piratefocus,I've been beating the drums for Fero Hall as you know, but he is way too small to play center in the Big East. Have you seen the size of the postmen on the other teams? Big John is a space-eater and is useful in short spurts (alas, his knees have robbed him of the rest). Fero has to beef up big-time before he can hold his own at center for any reasonable lengths.

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