45 year old Randy Couture is a five time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion with an impressive two titles in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. This popular and well known UFC champ can now add the title of "friend" of Full Tilt Poker, joining other notable UFC fighters such as Mike "Quick" Swick and Matt Hughes. Couture's new title at Full Tilt seems to be part of a bigger trend in which athletes from all backgrounds including NHL hockey great Mats Sundin, have inked deals with major online poker rooms.
Couture isn't a man without his share of controversy. In 2007, he walked away from the Ultimate Fighting Championship amidst rumors of disagreements with management and while attempting to win a fight with Russian, Fedor Emelianenko, the man widely considered to be the best heavyweight fighter in the world. Couture however, rejoined the Ultimate Fighting Championship in early September which was good news to Full Tilt Poker.
After Couture rejoined the UFC after an absence of more than a year, UFC President Dana White said, "As you all know, we've had problems with Randy over the last few months, but we've got them all worked out now. Randy has always been our heavyweight champion."
"I think a lot of compromises were made on both sides. But we're both ready to try and move forward. We've cleared the air and we're both in different places than we were a year ago. Spending the last year in legal fights is not some place that I've had a very good time." Couture had to say.
Couture made his return to the octagon recently to face former World Wrestling Entertainment heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar branded from head to toe with Full Tilt gear. Couture's former sponsor, Affliction, is gone from the scene being replaced with Full Tilt's famous inverted triangle. As expected, Couture and Affliction are now locked in both a personal and legal dispute.
All the conflict has made the transition to Full Tilt an easy one and the company has taken advantage of the opportunity to place itself in the ring of the fastest growing spectator sport in the world. Unfortunately, Couture came away from the fight with a bad beat by Lesnar. Though he didn't come out on top, Couture got Full Tilt its 10 seconds by wearing his new sponsor's logo in the lead up to the fight on mainstream television.
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