Wednesday brought about a few news items that were released to the mixed martial arts communities. These stories covered the three largest promotions in the United States: the UFC, Bellator and Strikeforce.
In Strikeforce news, a fighter with a very high profile last name will step foot in the cage at Strikeforce Challengers 14. Ryan Couture, son of the MMA icon Randy, will make his second professional appearance against fellow MMA newcomer Lee Higgins.
During his amateur career, Couture ran up a 5-1-1 record using his proficient Jiu Jitsu technique. His first professional fight was at Strikeforce Challengers 10, where he defeated Lucas Stark with a triangle choke in just 1:15. Couture trains at his father’s gym Xtreme Couture located in Las Vegas.
With a 2-0 record, Higgins will be making his debut with Strikeforce during the event. Both of Higgins fights have ended by rear naked choke in the first round.
Renzo Gracie student Dave Branch has taken the call by the UFC to face off against Rousimar Palhares at UFC 3 Live on Versus. Branch is stepping in for Alexandre Ferreira. Ferreira has reportedly pulled out of the event due to his family suffering through the flooding that has crimpled Brazil.
Branch has created a 2-1 record while fighting in the UFC. His first bout was against the highly touted Gerald Harris in which Harris won by an eye popping slam in the third round. Since that fight, Branch has earned two decisions against Tomasz Drwal and Rich Attonito.
UFC Live 3 on Versus will include a main event matchup between Martin Kampmann and Diego Sanchez.
Bellator has added an undefeated lightweight to their season 4 tournament. Undefeated Lloyd Woodard has added his name to the field of what will be an eight man tournament. During his professional career Woodard has racked up ten wins; eight of those victories have come by stoppage.
Currently, the only confirmed fighter is Patricky Freire. Other rumored participants include Toby Imada, Ferrid Kheder, Michael Chandler, Marcin Held and Rob McCullough. The fourth season of Bellator’s tournaments will begin on March 5th at a yet to be named location.
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