RYAN COUTURE ADDED TO STRIKEFORCE CHALLENGERS EVENT AT CEDAR PARK CENTER IN CEDAR PARK, TEXAS, ON FRIDAY, FEB. 18, LIVE ON SHOWTIME®
Son of Legendary MMA Superstar, Randy Couture, To Face Fellow Undefeated Lightweight Lee Higgins
NEW YORK (Jan. 20, 2011) – One of the most promising prospects in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Ryan Couture, will seek his second consecutive victory when he faces fellow unbeaten Lee Higgins (2-0) of Houston in a featured lightweight (155 pounds) bout of a STRIKEFORCE Challengers fight card presented by Rockstar Energy Drink at Cedar Park Center in the Austin, Texas. suburb of Cedar Park on Friday, Feb. 18, live on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
In the main event, unbeaten rising star Lyle "Fancy Pants" Beerbohm (15-0) of Spokane, Wash., takes on dangerous veteran Pat "Bam Bam” Healy (25-17) of St. Louis. The winner in the lightweight scrap remains in contention for a possible shot at the STRIKEFORCE title.
Tickets for STRIKEFORCE’s third fight card in 21 days and second in the Lone Star State go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. CT tomorrow/Friday, Jan. 21, and will be available at the Cedar Park Center ticket office, all Ticketmaster locations (800) 745-3000, Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com <http://www.ticketmaster.com/> ) and STRIKEFORCE’s official website (www.strikeforce.com <http://www.strikeforce.com/> ).
The first non-televised, undercard fight will begin at 7:30 p.m. CT. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m.
Ryan, the son of MMA legend, Randy Couture, will be making his second pro start and second for STRIKEFORCE on SHOWTIME. He won his debut last Aug. 13 with a slick, 75-second, first-round submission (triangle choke) over Lucas Stark on STRIKEFORCE Challengers.
The 5-foot-10, 28-year-old Couture was scheduled to fight last Nov. 19 but withdrew due to a staph infection.
"I was down for a few weeks but now I’m ready to fight and looking forward to fighting in Texas on Feb. 18,” said Couture, a member of Las Vegas, Nev.- based Xtreme Couture. "I’m excited and working hard. I expect a tough fight.”
Ryan, who was born in Seattle, wrestled in junior high and high school before taking up Jiu-Jitsu. He graduated in 2004 with a mathematics degree from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., and worked at a local bank before deciding to go into MMA. He began serious training in MMA in 2008.
"I became a fan when my dad began competing but didn’t get involved as a competitor until years later,” said Ryan, who went 5-1 in the amateurs. "I still have a ton to learn and there’ll always be pressure because I’m a ‘Couture,” but I’m pretty used to that now.”’
Higgins, who fights out of Houston and is a product of Tony Aponte’s "Urban Jungle,” won both his fights by rear-naked choke in the first round within a three-week span late last year.
The 5-foot-11, 30-year-old submitted Gilbert Jimenez at 2:36 in his most recent outing on Dec. 4. He forced Kenny Burke to tap at 1:25 the previous Nov. 12. Both fights were in Houston.
"This is a great opportunity and an honor for me to fight the son of a legend,” Higgins said. "I couldn’t believe it when they offered me the fight. To get a chance to show my skills and make a name for myself on television is very exciting and absolutely a huge deal.”
A blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu, Higgins grew up in Massachusetts but has been training in Houston the past two years.
"Lee’s biggest strength is his Jiu-Jitsu but he is also emotionally very strong and works extremely hard,” Aponte said. "He’ll be ready for Feb. 18.”
STRIKEFORCE (www.STRIKEFORCE.com <http://www.strikeforce.com/> ) is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its "Shamrock vs. Gracie" event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts (MMA) series with "Shamrock vs. Gracie." In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose. In March 2009, STRIKEFORCE signed a multi-year agreement with SHOWTIME® to stage live events on the premium cable television network. The promotion has since also produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network.
Mike Afromowitz (917) 566-8754 mafromowitz@STRIKEFORCE.com
Brener Zwikel & Associates
John Beyrooty (562) 233-7477 firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Pratt (818) 462-5602 SteveP@BZAPR.com