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Ryan Couture Signs With Strikeforce, Will Debut On Aug. 13 Challengers In Phoenix

Ryan Couture, son of MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture, has signed a multi-fight agreement with world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion STRIKEFORCE and will make his professional MMA debut on Friday, Aug. 13 at the STRIKEFORCE Challengers event at Dodge Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., LIVE on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

The 27-year-old Couture, a member of the Las Vegas, Nev., based Xtreme Couture fight team, will face Lucas Stark of Chandler, Ariz. in a three-round lightweight (155 pounds) bout.

Looking to make a name for himself in the sport his father helped pioneer, Couture compiled an amateur record of 5-1-1 competing as a lightweight with all five wins coming by way of submission.  He has had access to a who’s who of MMA royalty as training partners and coaches, which, coupled with a solid amateur career, has given him the background and confidence to take his fight career to the next level.

Couture, whose parents split up when he was in sixth grade, spent his high school years in suburban Seattle.  With his father being a former wrestling coach at Oklahoma State University, Couture naturally developed into a talented high school wrestler.

Following high school, Couture enrolled in Western Washington University in Bellingham, where he graduated in 2004 with a mathematics degree. He worked at a local bank until he realized his desire to work in the family business.

Couture began his MMA training in 2006, working diligently to mature into a well-rounded fighter, adding Muay Thai and a dangerous submission game to his repertoire.  In January 2008, he moved to Las Vegas to train with his father.

In his final amateur bout on March 26, Couture fought to a draw against Sean Bollinger for the Tuff-N-UFF 155-pound title fight at The Orleans in Las Vegas.

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Tickets for the Aug. 13 STRIKEFORCE Challengers event are on sale now through www.livenation.com <http://www.livenation.com/> , www.STRIKEFORCE.com <http://www.strikeforce.com/> , the Dodge Theatre Box Office, any Ticketmaster outlet or by phone at (800) 745-3000

In the main event, Phoenix native and MMA star Joe “Diesel” Riggs will take on knockout artist Louis Taylor at a catch weight of 182 pounds.

The event will also showcase a four-woman, single-elimination 135-pound tournament featuring STRIKEFORCE Women’s welterweight prospects Miesha “Takedown” Tate, Carina “Beauty But The Beast” Damm, Hitomi “Girlfight Monster” Akano and Maiju Kujala.

Dodge Theatre doors will open at 5:15 p.m. MT for the STRIKEFORCE Challengers event.  The first preliminary bout will begin at 6 p.m. and the first main card bout will begin at 8 p.m.

STRIKEFORCE Challengers is a proving ground for up-and-coming MMA fighters. The series is designed to provide today’s top prospects with the opportunity to step-up their level of competition and demonstrate their ability in a nationally televised event.

About STRIKEFORCE

STRIKEFORCE (www.strikeforce.com) is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history.  The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265.  Since 1995, STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts (MMA) series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.”  In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose.  In March 2009, STRIKEFORCE signed a multi-year agreement with SHOWTIME® to stage live events on the premium cable television network.  The promotion has since also produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network.

Source: Mike Afrmowitz/SrikeForce

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