It took the ‘Assassin’ a few minutes to find his timing, but when he did, Saad Awad wobbled Ryan Couture with a right hand, then unleashed hell in the form of a barrage of strikes to earn a first round finish at Bellator 201.
In the co-main event at Bellator 201 on Friday in Temecula, CA, the always game Saad Awad welcomed Ryan Couture back to action. Couture, son of UFC Hall of Famer and two-division champion Randy Couture, had been out of action just over a year prior to Friday’s scrap against Awad. The fight was contested at a catchweight, but there was no doubt a win would set either man up for a big fight in the lightweight division.
Couture was looking for a way in on his opponent early in the co-main event of Bellator 201. Keeping active, flashing kicks, and not looking afraid to get dirty, he appeared game, but was struggling to get in range for a takedown. When he did close the distance, Awad reversed, putting his weight on his opponent. Couture put Awad in a headlock, throwing a knee, which led to the pair breaking apart. Awad was then able to work on finding his range, looking to time his right hand. And in the final minute of the round, Awad would land it. Couture was wobbled, knees buckling, and Awad unleashed hell!
Blow after blow rained down as Couture covered up. The wrestler showed heart, staying in it longer than most would. But it was too much, and as he fell to a knee, the ref came in for the save.
Just vicious! @SAADMMA #Bellator201 pic.twitter.com/pNKOLZGry7
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) June 30, 2018
The victorious Saad Awad said after that bout that “I’ve only got one thing on my mind. I don’t know who else is more deserving of a title shot than me!” To lightweight champ Brent Primus, he said “get healthy” while he implored contender Michael Chandler to make a decision on where he wants to fight next — Chandler is currently poised to test free agency.
Saad Awad def. Ryan Couture by TKO, Round 1, 4:29