Ryan Couture on Bellator 135 fight against Dakota Cochrane: I am going to get on top of him and choke him

One of the questions fans always want to know is who could be a future title challenger in a division and when it comes to the Bellator lightweight division, Ryan Couture could get in that conversation with a win in two weeks at Bellator 135.Bellator 135

Couture (9-3) has won three fights in a row by rear-naked choke submission, including a win over Tom Bagnasco in his Bellator debut last year.

Prior to his recent winning streak, Couture has lost back to back fights in the UFC and those defeats came against Ross Pearson and Al Iaquinta. Following that defeat, Couture went through some changes and the big change came with Robert Follis becoming the head coach at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.

“It ended up not really completely by my own choice,” Couture told The MMA Report about changes he made after losing two straight. “We made some pretty big changes. We had some staffing changes at the gym. After those two losses, coach Robert Follis came in and took over the pro team. I have gotten a chance to work a lot more closely with him and I think he has helped me to focus on on my strengths. Improving the areas that I already felt the most confident and changing my mindset. Getting me back to always pushing forward to where I need to be taking the fight and where it’s going to give me the best chance to win, which is forward pressure and coming in to get into the clinch. Work to get the takedown and get that top position. It has really paid off the last three fights. I am looking forward to continuing that growth and really get stronger in those areas and continuing to play into my strengths.”

Back at his Bellator debut, he was scheduled to meet John Schulz. However, Schulz was pulled from the fight on the day of the weigh-ins due to a medical reason and Bagnasco stepped up to face Couture. The finish of the fight came in the first round and Couture admitted that even with the late change, he was happy with his performance.

“I was real happy with the way things went,” he said. “I think I went in there and did what I wanted to do and especially given the last minute opponent change and everything. It would have been really tough to nitpick to much of it. I went in, came forward aggressive and got the takedown and submission. That was exactly what I was planning for. I was very happy with the way it turned out.”

At Bellator 135, he will meet Dakota Cochrane in the opening bout of the main card broadcast on Spike TV. Couture knows that a win over Cochrane could put him another win or two away from being in title contention, but he understands that Cochrane is a tough fight.

“I think he is a tough matchup for anybody. He is very durable and aggressive. He is an explosive guy and I think stylistically, I think it’s an interesting matchup for me. He is a strong wrestler and that is where I tend to like to push the fight as well. It will be interesting to see kind of how our different approaches to that game matchup and how things play out.”

In preparation for this fight, Couture has been working with lightweights at Xtreme Couture that bring a high wrestling skill set to the table. One of his main training partners for this fight is former UFC title challenger Gray Maynard.

“I have been fortunate to work with Gray Maynard a lot for this fight. He is fighting a week after me. Having someone who is so experience, who I see as a bigger and better version of Dakota to test myself against has been a big help. I have also gotten a lot of round in with Justin James and Johnny Nunez. I got to work with him for his last fight. I have had some real tough wrestlers and some real strong lightweights to work with to really push me and get me ready for this one.”

If Couture is able to get the victory against Cochrane, it will be the second time in his career that he has won four fights in a row. When it comes to a prediction on the fight, Couture plans to get the victory and he plans for it to be his fourth straight win by submission.

“I am going to get on top of him and choke him.”