PHOENIX - AUGUST 13: Ryan Couture celebrates after defeating Lucas Stark in the Strikeforce Challengers Main event bout at Dodge Theater on August 13 2010 in Phoenix Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Being the son of a legend in any realm of life, be it sports, entertainment or even the best physician in the world, often carries big expectations with it, should the son opt to follow in the same giant footsteps as their father, of course.
In the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), the name Couture carries much significance. It's royalty, really. That's because Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Famer and former Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight champion Randy Couture dedicated nearly 15 years of his life to the sport, participating in legendary fights that will undoubtedly stand the test of time just as he did.
With that dedication, "The Natural" ensured that the Couture name would by synonymous with the sport, and become a household name to all fans, be it the hard-core's and newcomers.
From clothing apparel to fitness and training gyms worldwide, Couture is a well traveled name, it has even made its way to the shiny bright lights of big Hollywood screens. However, at the end of the day, the Couture name begins and ends with fighting, thanks to the historic fights that Randy had during his tenure in the UFC.
Along with all the glitz and glamour, Randy also left some big shoes to fill to honor of the Couture name for his son Ryan Couture, current Strikeforce Lightweight contender. With a professional record of 3-1 under the San Jose-based promotion, Ryan looks to make his own name for himself, as seeks to climb the ladder of the Strikeforce 155-pound division and earn his own shot at glory.
Speaking to MMAWeekly.com recently, Ryan talked about the expectations of being the son of an MMA legend and how he responds to critics that say he has received the opportunities given to him, solely for who his father is.
Check it out:
"Being Randy's kid brings a lot of expectation and a lot of baggage with it. Certain people are almost excited to see me fail so they can tell that story. I was signed to a major promotion for my first pro fight and got to skip ahead of the line on a lot of paying... dues, so to speak. Some take offense to that. I put in the work in the gym, that's the big thing. They (critics) can say what they want about opportunities I've been given that they might not feel I deserve. But at the end of the day, I have to work hard and I have to earn those opportunities or they're going to run dry. I'm in the gym, busting my ass just like any other fighter."
After beginning his professional MMA career undefeated under the Strikforce umbrella, Couture suffered his first professional defeat at the hands of Matt Ricehouse at Strikeforce Challengers: "Fodor vs. Terry" via unanimous decision last June.
He got back on track by besting Maka Watson a few months later.
Now, Couture hopes to continue his momentum going as he takes on Conor Heun this weekend (March 3, 2012) at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. In the process, Ryan looks to keep proving his critics wrong and show the world that he deserves to be where he is for his hard work and skills, not just his name.