Fight Magazine had a good interview with one of the power couples in mixed martial arts: Randy Couture's ground coach Neil Melanson and Strikeforce fighter Erin Toughill, who has been penciled in as the next opponent for 145-pound champion Cris Cyborg.
Melanson offered some detailed analysis of why Couture is moving away from Brazilian jiu jitsu and toward catch wrestling, while Toughill indicated that there may be something of a grudge between herself and Cyborg.
"Randy's really fired up about the catch wrestling mindset," Melanson said. "He's got a couple submissions in his library that he's very, very good at."
Couture defeated Mark Coleman on Saturday night with a rear-naked choke in the second round, and although Melanson was pleased with that result, he said he actually hoped Couture would get a chance to do more on the ground than he did in the fight.
"This fight I was really hoping to showcase more of his grappling," Melanson said. "It didn't happen because when he got on the ground he finished him so quickly. He's got so much technique. Randy is such a good grappler and the world still hasn't seen it yet."
Melanson said that Couture's background as an amateur wrestler is making him excited about trying catch wrestling.
"Randy's really excited about it," Melanson said. "He's got a lot of submissions. ... At Xtreme Couture we're building a great team of these wrestlers. This is going to be a breakout year. I think my wife's going to win the title from Cyborg so Xtreme Couture is going to be the No. 1 gym in the country by December, I guarantee it."
Although Strikeforce promoter Scott Coker has said Toughill would be the next opponent for Cyborg, Toughill indicated that she's going to fight someone else before she gets her title shot.
"I have been talking to a lot of people who are very reliable and I know that I will get a warm up fight before Cyborg," Toughill said.
Toughill also hinted that there might be some bad blood between the two of them.
"She passed me in the hall tonight and it was very interesting," Toughill said, "I don't want to comment more than that."
But Toughill did express confidence in her ability to beat Cyborg when she gets the chance.
"I know that it's a fight that I'm going to win," she said, "I know that it's a fight that I can win and when the opportunity is given to me I'm going to win in a decisive fashion."
Via FightMagazine.com and BloodyElbow.com.
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