, the son of UFC legend Randy Couture
, improved to 2-0 in his brief professional MMA career with a solid victory over Lee Higgins at Friday night's Strikeforce Challengers card.
The third-round submission via rear-naked choke was a more impressive all-around performance than Couture's professional debut. Couture showed solid grappling and effective if not particularly powerful striking, and he finally put Higgins away with just 19 seconds remaining in the third round.
"He's tough as nails," Couture said of Higgins. "I'm real glad I was finally able to get him there at the end."
They spent the first minute of the fight feeling each other out without much contact, and it wasn't long before the fans in Austin started booing. It didn't really get interesting until the final minute of the first round, when Couture landed a hard body kick, Higgins caught it and took him down, only to have Couture sprawl and attempt a guillotine choke. After Higgins pulled his head free, Couture was able to move into position for a D'Arce choke, and he almost had that when the first round ended.
Midway through the second round Couture floored Higgins with a huge right hand, and although Higgins popped right back up, Couture took the weakened Higgins down and mounted him on the ground. With a minute to go in the round Couture took Higgins' back and locked in a tight body triangle, and while he wasn't able to finish Higgins, it was a dominant round.
In the third round Higgins briefly went on the offensive and grabbed Couture against the fence, but Couture reversed things with a trip, took Higgins down and took his back once again. This time he sunk in the rear-naked choke and kept squeezing until he got his forearm under Higgins' chin and forced the tap.