Friday, March 26, 2010 | 12:05 a.m.
Ryan Couture’s last amateur fight will be Friday at Tuff-N-Uff’s Future Stars of MMA event at The Orleans when he takes on Sean Bollinger for the vacant 155-pound title.
Couture, son of UFC legend Randy Couture, has won his last three fights by first-round submission.
“We’ve had a lot of great fighters but [Ryan] is definitely up there,” said Barry Meyer, Tuff-N-Uff president. “He is without a doubt one of, if not the most, competitive guys we’ve seen at 155.”
Couture (5-1) is so confident that even a loss against Bollinger (1-0) won’t affect his plans to go pro.
“After each fight I actually feel like I’m at a level where I can compete professionally,” Couture said. “Just the simple fact of taking a loss won’t affect that either way. Those are the bitter steps. It’s just a part of fighting.”
Despite his confidence, there are still some aspects of a professional career that Couture is uncomfortable with.
“I actually have been half putting off getting an agent or manager,” he said. “I really have to look for someone who can come through and manage my career once I decide to take that next step. In the next couple of months that’s going to be an interesting process.”
Couture has also had few opportunities to test his striking, with all of his wins coming via submission.
“I’ve always wondered what it would be like to knock someone out,” he said. “I do enough sparring in the gym to know that I have those skills, it’s just a matter of using them and feeling confident that they’ll be around when I need them.”
But the absence of a knockout from his highlight reel does not seem to bother him.
“I can’t say I’m disappointed,” he said. “I’ve been able to take the opportunities that have been presented and make the most of them. I don’t think I’d ever like to be someone who would pass up an advantageous position on the ground in order to go for the knock out, I just don’t think that would be fighting intelligently.”
Couture’s main concern, however, has been the shift from two-minute rounds in amateur MMA to the much longer five-minute rounds featured in the pros.
“It’s going to be that much more work on those cardio days which are brutal enough as it is,” he said.
Couture is unsure what the future holds for him, preferring to take things one fight at a time. However, he does aim to live up to his father’s name.
“I never try to place any expectation on how far I can take this thing,” Couture said. “I’m just doing it because it’s something that I love to do and can hopefully make a living at. If I’m able to make even a fraction as much of a name for myself as dad has, that will be a major accomplishment I’d be proud of.”