Dana White and co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta disagree.
According to UFC.com, Couture sent a letter of resignation to White in which he blasted the organization that remains the backbone of both his fighting and acting careers.
Couture voiced resentment towards White and the UFC because he never received a signing bonus. Couture's wife shared her own sentiments on UFC.com, stating that "the UFC never promoted Couture in proper fashion."
White responded to these allegations in an October press conference, arguing that he had in fact properly promoted Couture throughout his career.
"Season One of The Ultimate Fighter, we made Randy Couture a coach," White said. "After that, we made Randy a consultant on Season Two to come up with all the challenges we did. Season Four, he came back as a coach again. August 23rd was Randy Couture Day on Spike TV. We put together that television show of four hours of nothing but Randy Couture. And I could go on forever. The guy became a big star because we got behind him and promoted him.”
As far as the signing bonus issue: For UFC 68, White paid Couture "$250,000 for the fight, $250,000 for the second half of his signing bonus, and $936,000 for his cut of the pay-per-view revenue (covering an estimated 534,000 buys). Not including the signing bonus, that’s $1.186 million."
UFC.com stated that White is still offering Couture a chance to defend his Heavyweight Championship, despite the resignation letter and allegations.
The last thing MMA fans want is for the fighters to turn money-hungry. Every other sport has been victimized by greed.
Athletes don't participate for love of the game anymore—just for love of the money.
That sort of mindset will ruin MMA. If it prevails, only the fighters who don't care what they get paid will be fighting.
In that case, goodbye good matches...and goodbye MMA.