Ryan Couture: “I’m the real deal.”

UFC lightweight Ryan Couture might have a famous last name and a Hall of Fame father, but the 30-year old has earned every opportunity he’s gotten in the cage including his shot at securing a victory inside the Octagon. Couture fought seven times as an amateur before debuting on the Strikeforce Challengers scene. After going 3-1 in his first four fights, Couture was given a step up in competition and didn’t falter, beating the likes of Joe Duarte, Conor Heun, and most recently K.J. Noons.

Couture plans on continuing his rise through the ranks tomorrow at UFC on Fuel 9 where he’ll face Ross Pearson, another stiff test in a young career already peppered with them. He recently spoke with the UFC’s website about his journey thus far, saying he understands he’ll always be in the shadow of dad Randy Couture but has proven himself as a legitimate competitor too.

“We’re still talking about Dad in every interview, so that will never change, but I feel like I’ve established myself as a legitimate fighter, and no one can argue that. I think especially once I get this first UFC win under my belt, then that will go that much further towards wiping out anybody who wants to naysay and say I’m just riding the coattails of the family name. That’s always gonna be there to some extent, and there’s always gonna be someone hoping to get a rise out of me or get some attention by talking like that, but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and happy with the work I’ve been able to put in and the improvements I’ve been able to make. I think that anybody who legitimately goes and watches my fights can see that and see the improvement and see that I’m the real deal.”

“I just fought KJ Noons. That guy’s a former champion, he’s been in there with Nick Diaz on multiple occasions, so I wasn’t expecting a step down from that. Ross is right on par with that level of competition that I expected, and I think it’s good. I think I’ve worked hard and performed and shown them what I can do, and this is just a testament to that.”