NEW YORK (Nov. 1, 2010) – Unbeaten Ryan Couture (1-0) has been forced to withdraw from the STRIKEFORCE Challengers event Friday, Nov. 19, at Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson, Miss., due to a staph infection, STRIKEFORCE announced today.
The son of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) legend, Randy Couture, is expected be sidelined for three to four weeks.
The 28-year-old Couture, a member of Las Vegas, Nev., based Xtreme Couture, won his STRIKEFORCE and MMA pro debut with a 1:15, first-round submission (triangle choke) over Lucas Stark last Aug. 13 on STRIKEFORCE Challengers.
“I was really looking forward to fighting so this is a big disappointment, but I’ll be back” said Couture. “As soon as I’m cleared, you can bet I’ll be back in the gym preparing for my next STRIKEFORCE fight.”
In the Nov. 19 main event on SHOWTIME®, lightweight star and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro (20-4) will face Justin “The Silverback” Wilcox (9-3) of Cincinnati. In another televised fight, former University of Tennessee linebacker Ovince St. Preux (7-4), of Knoxville, Tenn., will seeking his fifth consecutive conquest inside the distance when he faces Antwain “The Juggernaut’’ Britt’’ (11-4) of Virginia Beach, Va., in a light heavyweight (205 pounds) scrap.
The MMA fight card is presented by Rockstar Energy Drink and will mark STRIKEFORCE’s initial foray into the state of Mississippi.
Tickets are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Coliseum box office and Be-Bop Record Shops, by phone at 800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com and www.STRIKEFORCE.com.
Doors at Jackson Convention Complex will open at 6:45 p.m. CT. The first non-televised preliminary bout will begin at 7:30 p.m. The first fight on SHOWTIME will begin at 10 p.m.
STRIKEFORCE (www.strikeforce.com) is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts (MMA) series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose. In March 2009, STRIKEFORCE signed a multi-year agreement with SHOWTIME® to stage live events on the premium cable television network. The promotion has since also produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network.