NEW YORK – 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 to 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.