Bellator 201 in June has it’s co-main event set in Couture vs. Awad, joining Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Alejandra Lara.
Ryan Couture returns to the Bellator MMA cage next month, as he’ll take on Saad Awad in the co-main event of Bellator 201. Couture, son of UFC Hall of Fame dual-weight champion Randy Couture, last fought at Bellator NYC in June last year. He’s been on the shelf since. MMA Fighting first reported the news.
Couture (11–5) got his start under Scott Coker’s old home, Strikeforce. He ran up a 6-1 record in the promotion prior to it being scooped up by the UFC. However, the younger Couture went 0-2 at the same time his legendary father was feuding with UFC President Dana White. White infamously banned Randy from cornering his son after the Hall of Fame fighter went into business with Bellator. Shortly thereafter, Ryan was handed his walking papers.
A brief stint in the regionals under the Battlegrounds MMA banner led to Couture signing wtih Bellator MMA, and eventually reuniting with old boss Scott Coker. To date, he’s 3-2 with the company, and coming off a win against Haim Gozali last year.
Interestingly enough, Neiman Gracie mentioned Couture as a fighter he’d be down with facing next following Bellator 198. However, the promotion has opted not to go with the family vs. family angle.
Saad Awad (22–9), meanwhile, has won his last three fights heading into Bellator 201. Fighting consistently for the promotion since 2013 (he had a one-off fight at Bellator 10 in 2009), the San Bernardino native will be in his own back yard while taking on Couture.
Bellator 201 takes place at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, CA on June 29.