Couture. It’s a name synonymous with the sport of MMA. It may also become one of the most synonymous family lines in MMA with Ryan Couture picking up where his father left off.

The 29-year-old fighter is still fresh to the sport of MMA, sporting just a 4-1 record as a pro. He’s also likely the most well-known 4-1 fighter in the sport.

It’s not because Couture is an All-American wrestler, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion or some kickboxing legend. No, Couture finds himself under the constant spotlight due to his last name.

When speaking of Ryan Couture, who fights Joe Duarte  at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy, it’s hard not to begin a description without mentioning his father, Randy. It’s a shadow that’s followed Ryan since he came into the sport of MMA.

His father is not only one of the most popular fighters in the history of MMA, but he’s also an UFC Hall of Famer. One of only two UFC competitors to wear a title in two different weight classes, Randy is a legend.

Randy casts quite a shadow over his son, Ryan, which the younger Couture no doubt would like to escape from. It’s nice having a famous last name to build a career from, but it has to be difficult when you’re constantly compared to a Hall of Famer before you’ve even had ten fights.

With such a historic legacy written by his father, will Ryan ever be able to step out from his father’s shadow?

The answer is both yes and no. Unless he goes on to have a historic career like his father, Ryan will likely never live up to the expectations people place upon him due to his last name. Even winning a world title likely won’t be enough to fully step out from his father’s shadow.

Where he can create an identity for himself as “Ryan Couture” rather than “Randy Couture’s son” is through his fighting style. Many fans consider Randy to be the master of dirty boxing and the clinch game.

Ryan, on the other hand, has shown a proficiency for competing on the ground. Evident by his two submission victories, it appears Ryan will be bringing a new wrinkle to the Couture name.

This is how he can stand out in the sport his father helped build. By not emulating the same style and also competing in a different weight class, Ryan will be able to create his own place in the Couture trophy room.

But at the same time, Ryan won’t be able to create that unless he moves into the UFC. He will have to go through even greater comparisons to his father by moving out of Strikeforce, but it would be well worth it if he wishes to create his own identity.

With such a resonating name as Couture, Ryan will struggle to be known for more than just being Randy’s son, but he does have the tools to create his own place in the sport. It will always be an uphill battle, but with his own style and in a different weight class, Ryan will perhaps create just as big of an aura around himself as that which still surrounds his father.

Photo: Ryan Couture (R) battles Conor Heun (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.