Kim Couture appears on TNA pro-wrestling. Was this a good move? At first, there was a friendly banter between pro-wrestler Lisa Marie Varon and fighter Kim Couture, with Veron, who is currently training in mma, challenging Couture to a match. That all changed this past weekend, with Couture “attacking” Varon on a TNA Wrestling’s “Bound for Glory” pay-per-view. Following the incident, Couture put on her twitter “Just attacked Tara Live on TNA Wresting, she needs to stick to the fake stuff!” From what we have heard, this is the beginning of a story line (and I assume possible co-promotion) with Strikeforce, which will continue on this week’s TNA Impact show. (On a side note, TNA’s network, SpikeTV is owned by Viacom, who also owns Showtime and CBS – Strikeforce’s broadcast partners.)
There has been history with cross promoting mma with pro-wrestling. Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock both crossed over into pro-wrestling, giving mma exposure to a more popular audience. Severn was also announced as the National Wrestling Alliance champion at mma events. Now, the trend has been pro-wrestlers crossing into mma, with Brock Lesnar and TNA star Bobby Lashley being the most successful. Lisa Marie Varon sees this as an opportunity as well, and from what we have been hearing, a Strikeforce contract maybe in her future.
What is Strikeforce getting out of the deal? Marketing to an audience that may not know of the Strikeforce brand. A match between Couture and Veron in a Strikeforce cage would bring some of the pro-wrestling faithful to their programming. And with Lisa Marie Varon crossing into mma, it will help market women’s mma to that audience as well. But is Varon, who has very little mma experience, and Kim Couture, who has more experience but not a solid mma record, the right people to market women’s mma to the pro-wrestling masses. Here is where the critics come in.
Does Kim Couture need to market herself in pro-wrestling? More important, with so many better women fighters not under the Strikeforce banner; why sign an inexperienced fighter like Varon? Is Couture going to be distracted and not be focused on training for her fight with Kerry Vera? And what happens if Couture gets injured accidentally in the pro-wrestling ring before the Vera fight happens?
And of course the biggest question of all, “Will this tarnish women’s mma?” Only time will tell.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.
Live on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT
NEW YORK (April 29, 2009)—Mixed martial arts (MMA) upstart Kim “Sugar Free” Couture (1-1) has withdrawn from the series debut of Strikeforce Challengers, scheduled for Friday, May 15. Couture was slated to face submission expert Miesha Tate (5-1) in a 135-pound fight. Strikeforce is working to replace the fight and finalize the card.
Strikeforce Challengers will take place at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif, on Friday, May 15, and air live on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). The fight card, headlined by undefeated lightweight Billy Evangelista (9-0) versus BJ Penn protégé “Iron” Mike Aina (11-6-1), will feature up to five live bouts. Strikeforce Challengers is a proving ground for up-and-coming MMA fighters.
SHO MMA provides today’s top prospects with the opportunity to step-up their level of competition and demonstrate their ability in a nationally televised event.
Tickets for the first Strikeforce Challengers event are on sale at the Save Mart Center box office and select Save Mart Supermarkets as well as at all Ticketmaster locations (800-745-3000), Ticketmaster online ticketmaster. and Strikeforce’s official website strike force
One of the biggest reasons girls join a local MMA gym is for the cardio workout that MMA training provides and Kim Couture, is no exception. Though she does credit being around the sport constantly as part of it. “I am always around it, but I was doing it mostly for the cardio,” Couture said in an interview with Fightergirls.com. Couture realized she wanted to take her training to the next level and compete when she was training with Gina Carano, helping her prepare for one of her fights.“I never wanted to do it until I was training with Gina,” Couture explains. “I realized I had a passion for it and didn’t mind getting hit”
“Gina is a great gal and a big ray of sunshine,” Couture continues in talking about one of her workout partners, “She is big solid.” Couture is making her amateur debut Saturday night in FCFF’s Rumble at the Roseland against local NW fighter Jessica Cruz.
“I really don’t know that much about her,” Couture said, “The one thing I have found out is she likes to take the fight to the ground.”
Couture has been training almost nonstop since her first smoker/Muay Thai competition in February.
“I have been doing 2-a-days for a while when I was training for my smoker. I took about four days off before I started training for this fight.”
When asked about the fight in February, she spoke about how fun it was to do, even though she was sick.
“It was great and it gave me a good competition experience,” she said. “I had the flu, I am looking forward to fighting healthy this time around.”
Couture states that she feels she has a good all-around game but when asked about her strengths she stated that she is stronger with standup, but her stand up and take downs have been pretty equal.
Couture has been training with Robert Drysdale, the Head Coach for UNLV Boxing and Elaina Reed, pro boxer for her boxing; her Muay Thai with Quentin “Dragon” Chong who she trained with for a month in South Africa while her husband, Randy Couture was filming the movie Scorpion King; her ground game with her husband who she gives credit to helping her push her training harder.
“Randy has been great,” she said. “He has been really busy but he can’t wait to wake up in the morning and help me. He pushes me very hard and is very excited for the fight. When it comes to takedowns and wrestling there is nobody better to work with”
Couture feels that her April 5th debut will be an exciting fight. “I am not hesitant to go out there and leave it all in there win or lose,” she said. “It is going to be an exciting fight.”
When asked if she is considering turning pro she stated that she feels that keeping the emphasis on doing it for fun is more important.
“I am trying to stay realistic,” Couture said “Right now I am just doing it for fun. Once you get in there and are feeling that pressure you make up your mind quick and realize if competing is right for you. When she is not training, Couture is the Vice President of Xtreme Couture, a full time job in itself, with the upcoming events and managing fighters.
“I am managing about 14 guys right now and there are some days I feel like I am never going to get caught up,” Couture said, “We are working on our supplement line, we have a lot of fighters right now with fights coming up, and we are helping to get their fight shorts ready, and the things they need, we are opening a new location in Toronto on May 31st, we are working on the clothing line. Its non-stop.”
Couture credits her staff for allowing her to get the time in for training. “It wears me down a bit, sometimes I get dehydrated to the point I have to remind myself to go get some food or water, but I have a great crew supporting the organization. It gets better every day.” Couture is also on the board of directors for the UNLV boxing team, an organization she feels close to.
“The college stopped funding all of the club,” Couture explains. “They have gone to regionals and nationals in the last two years, and have great people on their team. We are helping remodel their gym and holding fundraisers to raise more money” She is also working on putting together a promotion for Xtreme Couture to allow them to put on fights.
“We are hoping to put a production company together, we want to do smaller shows like the FCFF,” Couture stated. “It will be an Xtreme Couture vs the World set up” Talking about the future in MMA for women, Couture felt that as long as women got the right training they would be able to share the spotlight with the guys. “ There are plenty of women out there and if they get with the right gyms and the right coaches who know how to push them,” she said. “Womens MMA could be something very big.”
We get an exclusive interview with Kim Couture about a possible new women’s mma show. Plus Olympian Ronda Rousey makes her pro debut, and more news.
On the podcast this week –
An exclusive interview with Kim Couture about balancing her career and business; and announces a possible reality show.
The Ultimate Women’s Challenge reality show gets sued by its fighters.
Olympian Ronda Rousey faces tough competition in her pro debut this weekend
Pancrase announces it’s taking on Women’s MMA full time.
Plus more news and results.
When Kim Couture walked into the cage at Saturday nights Rumble at the Roseland, she did not know how the local fans in Portland Oregon, would react to her fighting Jessica Cruz, a local Portland fighter who also teaches MMA.
“I didn’t know if they were going to throw beer bottles at me,” Couture said to reports after the fight.
Cruz was the “local girl” The fans at the Roseland, known for their dedication to the sport, welcomed Couture with the loudest reaction of the night as she stepped into the ring for her amateur MMA debut, defeating Jessica Cruz by TKO at 1:43 of the third round. Both fighters came out swinging as the fight started, Couture controlled the stand up in the first round landing a straight right that floored Cruz leaving a mouse above her left eye. The fight was taken to the ground where both fighters looked lost, leaving the crowd chanting “stand them up”. The media around ring side all agreed that Couture had the first round convincingly with her strong stand up performance.
The highlight of the second round was Cruz landing a spinning back fist that left a scrap below Couture’s left eye. The majority of the round was spent on the ground with both women grappling for a dominate position. Couture was taken down in the third round, but was able to reverse Cruz, where she attempted to secure a triangle choke before gaining the mount to finish the fight.
After the fight, Couture sat down with members of the media including fightergirls.com to talk about the fight.
“I wasn’t nervous,” she said. “I could tell right away that she wasn’t technical. My punches are straight. I wanted to kick her more, but she was actually shorter then I was used to.”
When asked about the dead spots during the rounds where both fighters were on the ground with no one Couture admitted she was frustrated.
“When I was down on the ground, I asked myself what I was doing wrong,” Couture said.
Fightergirls.com asked Couture about what her next steps will be. “I am going to head to LA and train with Gina Carano,” Couture said. “She has a fight coming up.”
Saturday Night saw other explosive action as the fans had been treated to X fights filled with explosive action as first time fighters, veteran fighters and NW favorites mix it up in front of such notables in the audience and in the corners such as Chris Wilson, Matt Linland, Randy Couture, Loudne Sincaid
135 Lbs: John Thompson defeats Chad Kopperman (Barringer’s Martial Arts) via judge’s decision.
135 Lbs: Daniel Hickey (OJJ) defeats Frankie Mendez (Xtreme Couture) via tap out due to rear naked choke at 2:19 of round one.
145 Lbs: Geno Hair (UIMA) defeats Murry Couture (Welches, OR) via tap out due to rear naked choke at 2:10 of round two.
145 Lbs: Joe Zambrano (Team Chaos) defeats Ryan Kribs (The Shack) via TKO due to strikes at 1:08 of round two.
145 Lbs Title Fight: Eddie Dahlen (Sports Lab) defeats Jess Moore (UIMA) via unanimous decision.
HWT: Adam Thomas (Impact JJ) defeats Ryan Kribbs (Milwaukie, OR) via unanimous decision.
155 Lbs: John Carbajal (OJJ) defeats Ricky Young (Tennessee) via tap out due to rear naked choke at 1:02 of round one.
155 Lbs: Darel Cavan (NW Training Center) defeats Frank Coones (UIMA) via TKO due to strikes from mount at 2:14 of round three.
155 Lbs Title Fight: Marques Daniels (Reality Combat) defeats Tyler Baley (Xtreme Couture) via split decision.
170 Lbs: Asidro Reyes (Curt’s Ultimate) defeats Adam Stomps (Team Quest) via tap out due to Knee Bar at 2:59 of round two.
170 Lbs: Rick Davison (SBGi) defeats Jason Evola (Reality Combat) via tap out due to arm bar at 2:17 of round one.
185 Lbs: Chris Velasquez (Reality Combat) defeats Jonathan Robideaux (Whetstone) via TKO due to strike from knee at :38 into round one.
185 Lbs: Crae Bassett (Reality Combat) defeats Brian Torres (Whetstone) via TKO due to strikes at 2:10 into round one.
125 Lbs: Kim Couture (Xtreme Couture) defeats Jessica Cruz (Reality Combat) via TKO due to strikes from mount at 1:43 into round three.
HWT: Daniel Stewart (Newport, OR) defeats Jason Sharp (SAGA) via unanimous decision.
HWT Title: DJ Linderman (Yreka, CA) defeats Corey Sutton (Impact JJ, Newberg) via KO at :41 into round one.
Kim Couture made her Muay Thai debut on Friday night against Alison Clarkson from
Canada, and Couture showed promise with solid punches and kicks, while also making
some mistakes. She does have a good chin and cardio, as well as good form and technique. Let’s get into the round by round breakdown.
Both ladies came out early striking, as there was no feeling out process in this bout. Kim Couture landed an impressive strike combination from multiple levels, including an inside lead jab and a Muay Thai knee to the body. Alison Clarkson came back with solid
straight rights and good foot movement, as she avoided some of Kim’s punches, and used those openings to land her own. Before you knew it the first 2 minute round was over, and Kim was over to her corner with Randy Couture overlooking her cornermen.
This round started off slowly for about 10 seconds, as both ladies looked a little winded from the pace of the first stanza. Both ladies
flurried early, when suddenly Kim ate a right punch that snapped her head back, and was probably the hardest punch landed so far in the fight. Alison seized the moment, and threw a multi-punch combination, with a lot of them landing. Kim fought back, showing some decent counter-punching, and also circled away from danger at a few critical moments during these flurries, causing Alison Clarkson to miss wildly a couple of times. At the end of the round, Clarkson landed a big right-left punch
combo that found it’s mark on Kim Couture’s head.
Again the ladies look tired to start the round, but that only last for a few seconds as Alison pressed the action and initiated the flurries. Kim Couture fought through the fray and landed a snapping left to Alison’s face, and followed that up with a couple of body kicks,
all of which landed and looked crisp. Alison Clarkson then launched her own attack, and connected with great boxing combinations to Kim’s face, forcing Couture to back up. One thing Kim did repeatedly was back up with her hands down, and this allowed Alison to continue her combinations on several occasions to Kim’s face without any defense. Kim did come back with a strong body kick and solid jab, and then faced more of Alison Clarkson’s boxing combinations, as Clarkson showed that she has done a lot of training in boxing.
After the final round, both ladies showed great sportsmanship, and the referee raised both ladies hands as this was an exhibition
bout. Kim Couture’s best moment had to be the first round combination that included kicks and solid left jabs that found their target. Alison Clarkson’s highlight had to have been the straight right she landed in the second round, which snapped Kim’s head back and appeared to have stunned her. The crowd was very appreciative of the action they saw, as there were no lulls during the 3 two-minute round, and although there was not a ton of power, both fighters showed good technique and heart.
In an interview after the bout, Kim Couture said that she was a little disappointed in her performance, and wished that she had stuck to her original gameplan more. She also
expressed frustration with her lack of movement, but gave credit to Alison Clarkson
for pressing forward and bringing the action. Kim Couture also announced that on April 5th she will make her MMA debut, and looked forward to getting rid of the “goofy” headgear and boxing gloves.
Randy Couture was also interviewed after the
bout and said that he thought Kim did a good job, and admitted that Kim did take some shots, especially in the 3rd round, but she responded well and that was one of the things he hoped to see from her during her debut, and that she showed a “warrior’s spirit.” Randy supported his wife’s decision to take part in the April 5th MMA bout, and said that she has trained extensively in grappling and he believes
that she will have several tools to use in that format. An impressive debut from Kim Couture and Alison Clarkson, and it will be interesting to see what Kim is able to show in her MMA debut on April 5th.
DALLAS(February 11, 2007) – Andrew Simon,
CEO of HDNet Fights, announced today that HDNet will feature exclusive coverage of Kim Couture’s debut fight. Kim is the wife of MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture. Her debut will occur in a Boxing/Muay Thai Smoker, a mixed martial arts event, to be held at the Xtreme Couture Gym in Las Vegas, NV.
“HDNet Fights: The Debut of Kim Couture” will air on HDNet on Friday, February 29
immediately following the network’s LIVE IFL event.
The event will feature up to 8 fights – each fight will consist of three two-minute rounds.
“It is great to be able to put business affairs aside the last month and focus exclusively on getting ready for this fight,” said Kim Couture. “The whole Xtreme Couture gym is looking forward to the opportunity to showcase new and up-and-coming athletes.”
“We’re looking forward to carrying this event
exclusively,” said Andrew Simon, CEO of HDNet Fights. “This event will give fans insight into where it all starts for fighters – earlier in the evening we will broadcast the live IFL event taking place in front of 6,000 fans and then we’ll show the contrast by going to the Smoker at Xtreme Couture in front of 300 fans. And, for
the many fighters making their debut at the Smoker (including Kim Couture) this is their chance to shine on national TV!”
Kim Couture will also appear as a guest on this Friday’s installment of HDNet’s “Inside MMA,” hosted by Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice. She will be joined on the program by Randy Couture and MMA fighter, Gina Carano. “Inside MMA” airs Friday, February 15 at 9:30 p.m. ET exclusively on HDNet