(Photo via MMA Junkie)
By Elias Cepeda
UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has said that it took him some time to learn to deal with fame and people treating him differently. The multi-weight champ is one of MMA’s most recognizable faces but outside of the cage he has always seemed every bit the every man in the way he talks and interacts with fans.
Randy is well-spoken but quiet. Friendly but far from a social butterfly.
He’s following his father in the organization “The Natural” helped build but is now persona non grata in. The younger Ryan has faced extra attention heading into this fight because of the ugly falling out between his dad and UFC President Dana White.
Luckily for him, the young Couture got used to extra attention because of who his dad is, long ago. “I was a little weirded out by it at first,” he tells CagePotato.
“I had my first amateur fight, like a million other guys, but then I started getting interview requests. I didn’t expect that and it was definitely weird to do an interview for an amateur fight.”
Ryan was neither annoyed nor impressed by the attention, however. He saw it for what it was, and saw it as a learning experience. “At least I got used to it and started to learn how to deal with it,” he says.
“I’m a pretty quiet guy and am not naturally inclined for interviews and stuff like that. So at least I got practice early on and it isn’t like I had to learn that stuff suddenly later on at the same time I started having bigger fights.”
Today’s fight is his biggest, by virtue not just of the UFC stage but his opponent. Couture had taken steps up in competition recently as a Strikeforce fighter, facing and beating Conor Heun and KJ Noons, for example.
He says he’s treating the former Ultimate Fighter winner Pearson as if he’s the best guy he’s ever faced.
“I definitely think he’s up there with KJ,” Couture says. “Both are high level guys that have power and who have fought other really good guys.”
Many counted Couture out against Heun and Noons, and are quick to say that he’s in over his head against the much more experienced Pearson. Couture sounds dispassionate as he expresses confidence and explains that he just wants to fight the best in the world.
“I didn’t think I would have been ready this quickly [for the UFC] but things have been coming together in training and in my last couple fights,” he says.
“I’ve shown that I can take a shot, stay focused and come back. I work hard and feel that this is what’s out there for me. I feel like I’m really starting to come in to my own. This is a great opportunity. I just can’t wait to get out there and show what I’m capable of.”