Even when you're the son of a UFC Hall of Famer, success is hard-earned in the cage. That's certainly true for Ryan Couture, who overcame a shaky first round to defeat Joe Duarte at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy.
Duarte came out full steam early on with heavy strikes, and seemed as though he'd have a fairly easy day at the office. But slowly but surely, Couture began to change momentum with his pacing and tenacity, and by the end, Duarte was exhausted while Couture had won over two of the only three people that mattered.
In a split decision, Couture took the victory by 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 scores.
After a good start by Duarte, Couture started taking over around midway through the second round.
In fact, he had the best chance of the two to finish the fight when he took Duarte down near the cage, looked for a choke and ended the round in mount throwing punches. Duarte fended off most of the big offense, and more importantly, defended the choke, but it was probably enough to steal the round for Couture.
The third was more of the same for Couture, who out-struck Duarte 62-31 according to stats provided by Showtime.
It was the third straight win for Couture, who improved to 5-1. His victory also snapped a five-fight win streak for Duarte, who dropped to 10-3.