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Ryan Couture on changing opponents, moving up the rankings, & will his dad make a return?

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Ryan Couture, son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, went into this month going into a fight with Derek Anderson, but due to late changes, now finds himself in a bout against Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire. MMA Latest got the chance to speak to the Bellator Lightweight ahead of his fight on January 29th.

Carl Richardson: Hi Ryan, you went into this month with a fight against Anderson, and he pulled out due to injury, does the change of opponent change your approach?

Ryan Couture: It definitely changes your approach to a certain extent, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, but I’m good at what I do, so it that respect not much will change.

CR: What were your feelings when Pitbull was announced as your next opponent?

RC: I was excited, as he is a great fighter, and one of the bigger names in our division. So to get a win over him would be good as it would propel me up the rankings, and closer to the belt.

CR: If you were to beat Freire, who would you look to fight next?

RC: Anyone, whoever is available. There are a lot of good fighters in the Lightweight division, and I will have to beat them all at some point if I want to wear the belt.

CR: Since leaving the UFC, you are on a four fight win streak, does that give you confidence going into the next fight, or do you take each fight as it comes?

RC: Each fight is different, but having that four-win streak does give you a confidence boost.

CR: You have won your last four by Rear naked choke, is that your trademark move or has it been that’s the opportunity that has shown itself?

RC: It’s definitely my go-to move, it’s something that I am good at and look to take advantage with my wrestling ability.

CR: In February you have Shamrock vs Gracie, is it a fight you’re looking forward to, or does it take a spot away from the younger fighters?

RC: It doesn’t really take anything away from the younger fighters. To have a fight like that is a massive draw, and will get people watching, so it’s good for the younger fighters who get on the card, as it gives them a chance to show their skills. It will get people watching as they have heard of the names, and is something Bellator look at doing. I hope to be on a card like that someday, to show people what I can do.

CR: With fighters like Shamrock and Gracie still fighting, do you think your dad would ever make a comeback?

RC: I don’t think so, I don’t think it’s something he is looking at, however, a lot can change, if he was to wake up one day and feel it was right, then he would still have a good camp, but I can’t see it happening.

Ryan will face Patricky Freire on January 29th at Bellator 148, and will be looking at propelling himself up the rankings, and towards that title shot. Make sure you keep up to date with MMA Latest for all the news and results, to find out whether Ryan will do what he has done in his last four, and make his opponent tap!!

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Watch: Bellator 185 Prelims

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Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Complete Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Fight Card:

Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)

Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)

Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card:

Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)

Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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