At Bellator 209 in Tel Aviv, Israel, Haim Gozali’s second crack at Ryan Couture didn’t go much differently than his first.
Haim Gozali and Ryan Couture both entered the cage Thursday looking for a change of fortune as the two met at Bellator 209. Gozali, since entering Bellator has seen mixed results with a 2-2 record heading into his second meeting with Couture (the event aired via tape delay Friday). He was also looking avenge that previous loss to Couture, which came back at Bellator 180 when the two fought a full three rounds. Couture took the unanimous decision over Gozali that night.
Couture, like Gozali, has had ups and downs since entering Bellator back at Bellator 124, and carried a 3-3 promotional record into the Bellator cage in Tel Aviv.
Starting out, Gozali looked relaxed as he threw a body kick. Couture fired back a hard front kick that knocked Gozali back. Gozali landed a hard right hand in response. Gozali stalked Couture around the cage until Couture caught a kick then tripped Gozali. Couture didn’t follow it up, however, and allowed Gozali to get back to his feet to engage again. Gozali pressed forward landing multiple combinations and Couture landed a nice elbow. Couture got the clinch on the fence and worked inside with knees and elbows; both men landed off the break. Gazali went for the clinch himself this time and Couture defended with Gozali going to the mat. Gozali stayed on the mat and invited Couture to engage but Couture was happy to stand and throw leg kicks to the downed Gozali. Couture went to engage as the round came to a close where Gozali looked to go for the leg lock.
Gozali opened the second round with a couple of body kicks then worked into the clinch. Gozali quickly pulled guard and looked for the submission but Couture postured up and looked to land punches on the downed Gozali. Couture then broke away and went back to his feet. Gozali continued to look to utilize his ground game when he caught a punch from Couture and the brought him to the ground. Couture again was quick to get back to his feet and two engaged again. Couture went for the clinch against the fence, and again went to his dirty boxing and landed elbows and knees. He was pulling away in the fight, frankly. Couture dropped for the take down that for a moment looked like Gozali was going to defend, but Couture pressed through and brought Gozali to the mat.
Heading into the third, the local hero needed a finish more than likely. Gozali pressed the action early until Couture landed a hard left and followed it up with a take down against the fence. Couture landed punches and elbows from guard while Gozali looked to defend. Couture landed a big right hand followed with some elbows on the downed Gozali. Couture continued to maul Gozali on the ground as he worked into half guard while dropping elbows and punches on his downed opponent until the bell sounded to end the action. Not the third round Gozali needed, and when it came time to the scorecards, it was essentially the same result as their first fight.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 17, 2018
Ryan Couture def. Haim Gozali by Unanimous Decision (29-27 30-27 30-26)