Former UFC, Strikeforce fighter Ryan Couture set to return to MMA on Jan. 18
After a three-month hiatus, ex-UFC and Strikeforce fighterÂ Ryan Couture is returning to the cage to continue his professional MMA career.
Couture (6-3), 31, is set to fight Kyle Sjafiroeddin (4-4) at “Battlegrounds MMA 3,” which takes place Jan. 18 at Riverwind Hotel and Casino in Norman, Okla. The event is untelevised.
Sjafiroeddinhails from nearby Oklahoma City.
Battlegrounds MMA is headed by Olympic gold medalist wrestler Kenny Monday, who also coaches with the Blackzilians team in South Florida.
Couture’s career was in limbo after back-to-back losses in the UFC, which prompted his release from the promotion this past fall. In his most recent performance, he was unanimously outpointed by “The Ultimate Fighter: 15” finalist Al Iaquinta at UFC 164.
The son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, Couture amassed a 6-1 record in Strikeforce, notching wins over more experienced competitors such as Conor Heun, Joe Duarte and K.J. Noons.
A bitter feud between Randy Couture and the UFC cast doubt on whether the younger Couture would cross over to the industry-leader after the shuttering of Strikeforce, but a deal was struck early this past year.
In his first octagon bout, Ryan Couture faced “The Ultimate Fighter 9” winner Ross Pearson, who had twice his professional experience and had faced a bevy of high-level opposition. He lost via second-round TKO.
Couture trains in Las Vegas at his father’s gym, Xtreme Couture.