randy-couture-27.jpgRandy Couture counted seven Xtreme Couture franchises in the U.S. and Canada at the height of MMA’s boom late this past decade. Then the market cooled, and gyms began to close. 

“The economy, especially in the gym industry, has been very difficult,” he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “The economy took care of a bunch of them. There’s two left now with Las Vegas and Toronto.”

You could see irony in the UFC Hall of Famer’s new role in “Gym Rescue,” a new reality show from Spike TV that mirrors the popular “Bar Rescue” program, or a bit of savvy casting from the cable network, which inked Couture to a TV deal early this year. 

In the show, Couture travels to cities around the country to help MMA gyms in the fickle business of getting everyday people into the cage, and keeping them there.

“I’m excited about the chance (to help struggling gym owners),” Couture said. “I’ve been doing it for 15 years. Most of my experiences have been through trial and error and missteps. Maybe I can help some folks avoid some of the things that I’ve done wrong.”

But the UFC Hall of Famer also believes the economy isn’t the only opponent standing across from gym owners.

“I think the sport is certainly seeing some growing pains,” he said. “You look at the numbers, both in the pay-per-views and the ratings with FOX and such, and they’re maybe down a little bit. 

“There’s a little saturation in the marketplace. It’s grown so fast, and we have so many fighters now and so many different events, it’s a little harder to track. I think where [the sport] used to be something very special and unique every couple of months, it’s literally on on a weekly basis, and it’s been an adjustment.”  

Couture, who this week makes his debut on another Spike TV project, “Fight Master,” will again take a center-stage role in promoting the sport as its biggest promoters, UFC and Bellator, fight for market share. 

There should be no shortage of subjects in need of help. Between the cost of keeping the lights on and paying staff, margins in the fitness industry often are razor-thin. UFC President Dana White has called gyms a money pit, though the fight promotion’s parent company, Zuffa, got into the business in 2009 and is now in the midst of opening UFC-branded gyms around the country. 

“It’s a tough business, it’s one of those things where if people start getting tight on money, they go away,” Couture said. 

Despite a recent drop in its pro ranks, Couture said his flagship gym in Las Vegas remains successful. Although he’ll have his work cut out for him on the show, he hopes his new role will help a few business get back on solid ground.

“You have to be in these things for the right reasons, whether you’re fighting or you’re running a training environment for fighter or just weekend warriors who just want to be involved in the sport and use it as their form of fitness,” he said. “Figuring out which one you are, first, and really focusing on taking care of those people you have the chance to effect is very important.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

Yoel Romero Tears Meniscus, Hopes to Make Summer UFC Return

  • 5 days ago
  • 6 views

Yoel Romero pulled out his UFC on FOX 15 bout with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza due to a meniscus tear in his right knee, but he will forego surgery in his recovery, according to a report on Wednesday. “UF read news >>

Countdown to UFC 186 Video: Michael Bisping vs. C.B. Dollaway

  • 7 days ago
  • 9 views

UFC veterans Michael Bisping and CB Dollaway meet at UFC 186 in hopes of keeping their respective names in the conversation at 185 pounds. read news >>

Titan FC signs prospect Hawes, veteran Cavalcante for Montreal debut

  • 13 days ago
  • 0 views

Upstart Titan FC has added a highly-regarded prospect and a fan-favorite veteran to its growing roster. According to CEO Jeff Aronson, the promotion recently inked Philip Hawes (3-0) and JZ Cavalcant read news >>

Bellator 136's Fabricio Guerreiro hopes for more fight bookings to make ends meet

  • 18 days ago
  • 1 views

Fabricio Guerrero isn’t living an easy life, but he appears quite happy with the opportunities that MMA has afforded him.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Justin Lawrence on RFA 25 opponent Sam Toomer: 'I’ll be happy to give him his first loss'

  • 20 days ago
  • 5 views

For Justin Lawrence, growing his game has been as much a focus as anything since being bounced from the UFC.Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News read news >>