Bellator 124’s Ryan Couture: ‘It’ll be great having dad in my corner again’

randy_ryan_coutureRyan Couture is looking for a fresh start. The 31-year old comes from some serious championship lineage, being the son of multi-time UFC champion and Hall of Famer Randy Couture, but his two-fight UFC stint did not go nearly as well as anticipated. Couture lost his debut in the promotion via TKO to Ross Pearson and after dropping a one-sided unanimous decision to Al Iaquinta in his sophomore effort, he was given his release. But the scrappy lightweight wasn’t ready to call it quits just yet. After picking up two stoppage victories on the regional circuit, he was reunited with Scott Coker when he signed eith Bellator MMA this past summer. Couture haf started his career fighting for Coker under the Strikeforce banner and he hopes to repeat the previous success he had in his initial run. Couture will be making his Bellator debut tonight (Sept. 12) at Bellator 124 and he spoke to about a fresh start, his goals with Bellator and having dad in his corner again in this exclusive interview. Check it out: Brian Hemminger: You’ve been tweeting quite a bit about the new Spike TV show Gym Rescue. What do you think about ol’ pops on television again? Ryan Couture: It’s been fun watching the show and tweeting about it and joking around. I find it very entertaining (laughs). Brian Hemminger: Could you be making a cameo on the show any time this season, or are you letting dad handle all the acting business? Ryan Couture: I think that’s just gonna be his department. I don’t really have an interest there. In general, with the exception of getting into a fight, I feel pretty uncomfortable with a camera pointed at me any other time so I just can’t see myself following him down any of that type of path. Brian Hemminger: You picked up two stoppage wins on the regional circuit before signing with Bellator. How does it feel to be back with a big promotion? Ryan Couture: It feels great. I had a great run in Strikeforce. I feel really good about the work I did there and I got brought over to the UFC and I feel I didn’t really perform very well. I got discouraged by that experience but I had a great opportunity to get a couple of fights and get my confidence back fighting for Battlegrounds. I really tried to sharpen up and make some improvements in my game in the gym during that time and now I’m excited to have a big platform again to show off those changes and improvements that I’ve made. Brian Hemminger: You had a great relationship with Scott Coker in Strikeforce. It felt like he brought you along and raised your competition level almost perfectly with them. Did you just feel like it was a perfect fit with Bellator once you found out Scott was taking the helm over there? Ryan Couture: Yeah, I was really excited to see that news. I think the story broke the day after I found out that I was scheduled for a third fight with Battleground. It was planned for late June but then I found out the card got postponed until October. I was out of a fight and concerned about where I was at and when I was gonna get another paycheck and the very next day the news broke about Scott coming to Bellator and some of the changes going on here. I felt it was a good sign and I was excited to hear it and to obviously get a chance to work with Scott again. We had a great relationship in my time with Strikeforce so I’m excited to head on now here and get a new home. Brian Hemminger: What are your expectations in this run with Bellator? They don’t really have the tournaments anymore so if you get a couple nice wins, you could get thrust right in the title picture. Ryan Couture: I think they’ll match me up in the fights that I need. The ones that make sense. I don’t see them having any huge rush to push me into a title fight if I’m not ready so that’s one thing. From working with Scott in the past, I can trust him to bring me along in fights that make sense. No easy fights in Bellator, obviously. That’s not what any of us are looking for, but I just want to make the right steps to get to that level and obviously, long term, I’d like to get to that title, but I just want to take the appropriate steps to get there and just keep working hard, winning fights and to put on a show on Spike TV. Brian Hemminger: You mentioned wanting to showcase some of the things you’ve been working on. Is there anything you really wanted to improve in your game as you enter the spotlight again? Ryan Couture: I think just being a little more aggressive, coming forward more instead of when I was getting into a pattern of focusing too much on my footwork and trying to be elusive on the outside and that’s not really the type of fighter I am. I have to be aggressive, get on top of guys and put them away. That’s what I need to do in these fights. I think it’s gonna be fun to match strengths against my opponents and we’ll find out on Friday who’s better. Brian Hemminger: How long is this initial Bellator contract? Ryan Couture: We’re on for four fights now, so this is gonna be my home for the foreseeable future. I’m looking to establish myself. I want to climb up the ranks the best I can. Brian Hemminger: You took some time off after the last UFC loss to Al Iaquinta. What was it that got you motivated to get back in there? Ryan Couture: A big part of it was getting back to my team, helping run it with Dennis Davis. Having that fresh coaching perspective I think really helped me get fired up and fall in love with training again and start to make some real progress and have a little bit more fun. Brian Hemminger: One of the controversies during your UFC stint was that Randy wasn’t able to corner you because of issues between him and the UFC. Is he going to be in your corner for this fight? Ryan Couture: Yeah. He’s flying in this afternoon (Wednesday) and he’ll be there on Friday. I always feel better when he’s able to be there. He’s got such a calming presence and I’m so used to listening to him. He always helps me stay sharp and keeps me in the right frame of mind. Brian Hemminger: When you’re picturing victory, what do you see? Ryan Couture: I see getting in there, coming forward strong, getting the fight to the ground and I’m gonna find a finish whether by submission or TKO. just coming out aggressive and putting the pressure on and doing whatever it takes to get him to break. Ryan would like to thank all his coaches at Xtreme Couture for taking care of him and he’s looking forward to showing off all his hard work tonight.  You can follow him on Twitter @RyanDCouture.

Written by Brian Hemminger

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