Due to the hurricane, losing power, car, and PC access we’ve had a slight set-back with Knockout Lounge. We are back today with an interview with Ryan Couture to get the ball rolling again! Very interesting guy, well spoken, and another great fighter!
Jason Przewoznik: Good Morning Ryan, thank you for taking the time to sit with us at KnockoutLounge.com. This probably isn’t your normal type of interview, but let’s try to get a clear image of who Ryan Couture is, other than the son of Randy Couture. First, let’s hear a little about yourself. Where were you born and raised? How was life growing up with a father in the military and a Hall of Fame UFC Fighter?
Ryan Couture: Well, I was born in Seattle and then lived in Alabama, Germany, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Oregon before ending up back in the Seattle area when I was in sixth grade. I finished out school there and then moved to Bellingham, WA to go to Western Washington University. I graduated in 2004 with a math degree and stayed in that area working in banking until 2008 when I decided to come to Las Vegas to work for Xtreme Couture. Dad’s military career was the cause for all of the moving around when I was young. It began to settle down when we moved to Stillwater, OK for dad to wrestle at Oklahoma State University. From there, we went to Oregon State University so he could pursue coaching. The move back to Seattle came when my parents split up. Between the army and both OSU’s, I pretty much grew up in a wrestling room and at tournaments. It was cool to be around that level of training and definitely influenced me to take up the sport myself. By the time he took up fighting, I was living in a different area and not spending so much time in the training room. I still got to see it from time to time, but didn’t have the same access to his fight preparation as I had to his wrestling.
JP: Very interesting. I always enjoyed moving around; learning different perspectives of life, though it could be pretty hard to adjust! So you’ve got into wrestling, which I assume sparked your fighting career. Give us a quick rundown on that. What inspired you to start fighting in the sport of MMA?
RC: Growing up watching dad compete, it was impossible not to become a fan of the sport. Because of that, when I decided to get back in shape after letting myself go for a few years in college, I took up Jiu-Jitsu as a hobby. I developed a passion for grappling and during that time, (I then) began to branch out into some kickboxing and MMA training. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. After about a year of that, I got the opportunity to move to Vegas and work at Xtreme Couture. At that point, my training went to the next level and I began to realize that I wanted to compete. Once I stepped in the ring for the first time, I was hooked and decided to pursue fighting as a career.
JP: I know how that is letting yourself go in college, haha. You definitely had an interesting start; especially being exposed to wrestling and the development of MMA by following your father’s career. I know developing from a wrestling background into a well rounded fighter can be a fairly long process. How often do you train? What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses?
RC: During the lead up to a fight, I train twice per day, six days per week. In between camps, I usually stick to one workout per day, five days per week. So far, all of my wins have been by submission so I’d definitely say my grappling is my strong suit. That said, I’ve worked really hard on my striking and wrestling in an effort to become a well-rounded fighter. I still have plenty of room to improve in all areas, particularly in putting each of the different disciplines together so that the transitions flow smoothly.
JP: Having your strong suits being wrestling and grappling/BJJ, do you see yourself being more of a technical fighter;having a record similar to Gracie, with all of his wins being by submission? Or do you feel your striking training will put you in a position where you can switch up your game at any given moment?
RC: I think I’ll always be a fairly technical, cerebral fighter whether I’m standing and striking or working my ground game. I’m doing everything I can to be a threat in every area.
JP: That’s a great way to put it; Keep your opponent on his toes! So how was your record as an amateur? Where are you now? Do you have any problems keeping or cutting weight in your division?
RC: After going 5-1-1 as an amateur, I made my pro debut last August in the Strikeforce Challengers series. Since then, I have gone 2-1 in the promotion. With the exception of my first amateur fight which was at 160, all of my fights have been in the lightweight division. Cutting weight is never fun but I don’t have to kill myself to get to 155.
JP: Not bad at all! Cutting weight is NEVER fun, I hear that! (haha). Now let’s try to get some insight on your current professional career; You stated you’re currently fighting for Strikeforce Challengers, how is that working out for you? Are you happy with the Strikeforce banner?
RC: I’m very happy fighting under the Strikeforce banner. It has been a great way for me to gain exposure while building the experience that I need to become the best fighter I can be. Whether or not I am able to graduate from the Challengers series to the main Strikeforce cards or to the UFC will just depend on my progression and how much I’m able to improve in order to be competitive at those higher levels. I just want to keep training and getting better and, most importantly, having fun.
JP: Very good, It’s great to be happy where you are while constantly improving; it definitely gives a piece of mind knowing you’re hard work pays off! Within Strikeforce, a lightweight with a 2-1 record, you’re off to a very good start; Would you like to share some of your career highlights, notable training partners, or experiences that you’ve been through to get where you are?
RC: As far as training partners are concerned, every day at Xtreme Couture is a career highlight with the who’s who of top fighters that train here. Competition-wise, getting to start my professional career in televised fights with Strikeforce has been a dream come true. My final amateur fight was also a fantastic experience, fighting to a draw against a highly regarded jiu-jitsu black belt in Sean Bollinger in the main event of a Tuff-N-Uff amateur show here in Las Vegas.
JP: That’s definitely true, just seeing the amount of talent that walks into Xtreme Couture; it’s got to be an exciting experience for a fan of the sport – let alone training with them on a daily basis! Now, we will have to ask this question; Craig started it, we rolled with it as our trademark; Who is your favorite super hero and why?
RC: It’s tough for me to pick a favorite but I suppose I’ve always been most partial to Batman. I love that he’s able to still kick so much ass despite lacking any super powers.
JP: Haha, I made this same comment earlier when I spoke with Southworth. That’s a great way to destroy my opinion on Batman, as I said he doesn’t classify as a super-hero, but I guess showing that ability without any super powers proves something! Before we wrap this up, is there anyone you would like to give a shoutout to?
RC: As always, I want to thank all of my coaches and training partners at Xtreme Couture as well as the team at XC management. Without them, I wouldn’t be in the position to do what I love so much for a living.
JP: Great! We appreciate you sharing a bit of your time with us, and we hope for you to be very successful in your fighting career. You have a lot of opportunity to grow and great training ability. You’re also a real laid back guy – it definitely helps with the Fan Favorites! I hope to see a lot more from Ryan Couture! I believe in the future we’ll try to get a little more going with Xtreme Couture and your fighting progress!
RC: Thanks for the support! Please do stay in touch.