When Randy Couture announced he would be retiring from MMA after his UFC 129 loss to Lyoto Machida, speculation about what “The Natural” would do next quickly began. Some guessed that Couture would be involved in initiating a fighters union while others hypothesized that the UFC Hall-of-Famer would be offered a job similar to the one bestowed upon Chuck Liddell after “The Iceman” called it a career last year.
MMAPayout is reporting that Couture, who wasted little time in diversifying his post-retirement portfolio is now a minority owner of the new Fight Now! TV combat sports-themed television network and will be involved with the specialty channel to an unknown degree moving forward.
I spoke with someone I know who is involved with the start-up station a few months back and he indicated at the time that Randy was attached to the project, but didn’t indicate to what degree.
The network is actually the brainchild of the founder of The Fight Network, Mike Garrow and is backed by Channel Zero, an independent Canadian broadcasting and media group whose properties include several specialty movie and XXX channels. Both Couture, who worked at the station during his first short-lived retirement and ‘Big’ John McCarthy were on-air analysts with The Fight Network.
There’s no word as to what programming will be licensed to the channel, but Garrow helped secure multiple contracts to air PRIDE, K-1, Affliction and Bodog events while with TFN, so there is a good chance he’ll follow suit with his latest project.
According to the MMAPayout story, the first cable service to offer the channel will be Cablevision in New York who will start carrying Fight Now! TV on May 24. The report quotes a story from the Sports Business Journal that states that, like its predecessor, Fight Now! “will include all combat sports — including boxing and wrestling — but will focus on mixed martial arts”
The SBJ story states that the offices of the station will be based out of New York, but from what I’ve heard they will have two offices — one in Las Vegas and one in Toronto.