Legacy is a recurring concept in the realm of sport. Before the glamour, massive demand, and outrageous television broadcast deals, legacy was a largely overbearing motivation for athletes of old.
It is still relevant today, but with multi-million dollar contracts being signed nearly every day, the concept is a bit diluted. Fighting still holds close to the ethics of legacy. Right now it is a very important factor for Ryan Couture as prepares for Bellator 201 and gears up for a run at gold.
Ryan Couture: A Continued Legacy
Ryan Couture is an unassuming fighter. He is calm and kind with his approach to people and words. Respect emanates from his consistent tone as he discusses his path to finding this sport and very notably, his opponent on the upcoming Bellator card.
The Couture Name
It becomes a stretch at this point, assuming the lineage of Ryan Couture is unbeknownst. He is the son of arguably one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, and definitively one of the most decorated wrestlers to have fought in the octagon, Randy Couture. While this knowledge may weigh heavily on fans of this sport, at a young age, it didn’t seem as much for Couture.
The oldest of three, exposure to the sport of wrestling began at an early age. Being in the locker rooms and constantly around the sport cultivated an interest within him. This interest elevated him to a successful high school wrestling career, but ultimately that was the end of his organized wrestling days. He then moved on to college.
An Average Life
Couture attended Western Washington University and settled into an average lifestyle outside of competition. Wrestling almost slipped his mind, WWU had no wrestling program to speak of. Eventually, come time to declare majors, he chose what came naturally, mathematics. Figuring the move made sense considering his sensibilities, he continued on and graduated in 2004.
From there, his average lifestyle further branched out. In loving the small town community his alma-mater occupied, he decided to stay in the area. Couture got a job at a bank.
“I went to school in Bellingham, Washington and really loved that town”, Couture told MMASucka.”I wanted to stay. I looked around for work in the area and ended up working as a bank teller and started working up the ranks towards management there”.
The Itch of Competition
It was about around this time that an itch for competition came back. The end of this average lifestyle began with light jiu-jitsu practice with friends on the weekend but ended with daily visits to the gym. Although school gave him an adopted purpose and active goals to achieve within that, it wasn’t his passion.
“I thought I had left it behind but it was still kind of in there dormant. The first couple times I stepped back on the mat just goofing around, trying to learn basic Jiu-Jitsu on the weekends with friends, I realized how much I had missed it. Even while I was at my bank job I was going to the gym every day after work and trying to learn as much as I could.”
“I went from just doing Jiu-Jitsu, to starting trying to learn some kickboxing too. Obviously, I had always been a fan of the sport from watching my old man compete. It was just something that I thought was a lot of fun. I loved to learn the new skills, staying in shape and taking care of my body which I hadn’t done for a few years in college. Then I just got more and more hooked”.
Slowly, this love grew until it enveloped him and an undeniable opportunity presented itself. His work at the bank was more than adequate. It suited him quite well but one aspect it lacked was accessibility to his father.
At this moment in time, Ryan Couture had his obligations in the state of Washington. While his father operated out of Las Vegas, Nevada. The large distance that separated the two, coupled with the busy schedule of his father, made their time spent together inconsistent and also widely spread.
The Family Business
A culmination of these factors made his hesitation nonexistent when asked to come to Vegas and begin working for the family business.
“I liked that job fine. I wasn’t unhappy but the opportunity to come and get to work closely with my dad and be involved in MMA, which I was a huge fan of the time. I was following the sport religiously, to get to try something different or do something exciting and be a part of the family legacy was too good to pass up. I wasn’t unhappy in my 9-5 but I wasn’t passionate about it either”.
“It’s his legacy really, it’s what he wants to leave behind. For me being able to be to aid in that and be a big part of that has definitely brought us together. [It] allowed us to be able to spend a lot more time together then we would get to otherwise”.
The Road back to Contender
His next opportunity fits perfectly into the bare naked socket of a shape sorter toy which is life. Couture last fought on the Bellator NYC PPV card. There he fought and defeated Haim Gozali by unanimous decision, on the preliminary card. The fight put Couture back on the contender’s path as it was his first victory in three fights, previously losing to top competition such as Patricky Pitbull and Goiti Yamauchi.
Now, only a few days separate Couture from facing another top lightweight competitor. By Friday, He will make the walk opposite Saad Awad at Bellator 201. This opponent represents an opportunity for the eldest Couture child to establish himself among the contenders of Bellator’s lightweight division.
A victory over Awad puts him in a great position for top contender matchups. Awad himself is in such a position. With a run for the title on the forefront of his mind, Couture aims to do exactly this.
“He’s on a streak and he’s always been one of the top guys in Bellator’s lightweight division. He’s got a lot of fights and a lot of wins. He has won fights a lot of different ways, he’s dangerous everywhere. I know going into this I’m going to have to be sharp, not make any mistakes and fight my fight. Do what I want to do rather than let him dictate, make it a grind and wear him out.”
“I’m looking forward to the challenge, and I’m looking forward to probably surprising some people. I know especially the way people are in this sport, you take a couple of tough losses and they want to write you off. The last time I was in there in with top competition it didn’t go my way. I’m looking forward to fixing that, righting the ship and getting back on track”.
Legacy is a term for history. It is written as a proverb of the past tense. Yet, in the same breathe, it can be seen in the present. We can sit back and watch the invisible pen of time write the events as they happen. For Ryan Couture, there is a chapter left unwritten. One that is lined with the magic significance of legacy, all he must do now is write it.
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