According to a report on SI.com, former UFC Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture has come to an agreement on a multi-year deal with Spike TV, which is owned by Viacom. The deal will include appearances on Spike TV, as well as possible opportunities with the media conglomerate's other networks.
His first role with the network will be to act as a coach on an upcoming reality series put on by Bellator. Shooting begins in February with an air date set for later in the year.
There is a press conference scheduled for Feb. 5 in Los Angeles in which Spike TV plans to make the announcement. Randy Couture and Spike TV president Kevin Kay will go over the details of the agreement and expand on the role of Couture in the Bellator series and the potential for other Spike projects. The series is expected to prominently feature current and up-and-coming Bellator fighters.
The deal was finalized in late December according to sources, and it obviously was not welcome news for Couture's former employers over at the UFC. Since his retirement, Couture has remained busy. He has appeared in a pair of The Expendables movies as well as serving as an analyst for UFC events on Fox. On their last broadcast, however, Couture was notably absent.
Bellator, unlike the UFC offers a tournament format and airs each Thursday night on Spike TV. It debuted with the network on Jan. 17 after previously airing on MTV 2. Viacom purchased a majority share of the organization to fill the void left by the departure of the UFC for Fox.
Couture who retired with a 19-11 record, has previously appeared on Spike alongside Chuck Liddell when both appeared as coaches on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. It was that series that is often given credit for launching the popularity of MMA and the UFC in the United States. He also appeared on several other occasions throughout the run of the series.
Representatives for Randy Couture and Spike TV declined to comment until the scheduled press conference. The UFC has also decided against making a comment on the situation.