Kim Couture Added to Kickboxing Empire World Championship Card July 30 Hard Rock

Las Vegan Kim Couture, Women’s Ambassador to Combat Sports, Added to Kickboxing Empire World Championship Card Saturday, July 30, at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Las Vegas’ Kim Couture, one of the most prominent female figures in combat sports, has been added as a special attraction women’s bout on the nationally and internationally televised world championship Kickboxing Empire card Saturday, July 30, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Promoted by Martial Arts Association of Las Vegas, the eight-bout event also includes five current and former world kickboxing champions, headlined by Alain “The Panther” Ngalani of Hong Kong against Dzevad “BH Machine” Poturak of Sarajevo, Bosnia, in a clash for the International Kickboxing Association super heavyweight championship.

Other Las Vegans on the card include Chidi “Chidi Bang Bang” Njokuani and Shawn Yarborough.

Known, perhaps, as much for being the outspoken ex-wife of UFC great Randy Couture as she is for her own fighting career, the attractive 35-year-old mother of two and admitted adrenaline junky says she’s excited over her lightweight bout July 30 against Jessica Bartness of Monroe, Washington.

“Everybody I know is freaking out that, finally, after four years, I have a fight here in Las Vegas,” said Couture, who goes by the nickname “Sugar Free.” 

“My pro debut was at home in Vegas and I haven’t fought here since,” said Couture.  “It’ll feel good to fight here, because I’m always going to the hometown of my opponent to fight. It’ll be a rush to be fighting in front of so many friends.  I’ll feed off the support I get.”

Having found success in diverse industries, including working as a casino executive and a law-enforcement officer, before she began fighting, Couture isn’t content to just fight her own ring battles.  She also works tirelessly promoting women’s fighting, is in the process of opening her own gym, advises other fighters and is hoping, eventually, to become a television commentator.

“I’m not out there trying to be a pinup model,” said Couture, who could pass for one.  “I don’t care about being the face of females in combat sports.  But I do like being ambassador for the sport.

“I try to stay as busy as possible,” said Couture.  “I’ve been training kickboxing for six years.  That’s my most dominant area, and I wouldn’t take this fight if I didn’t know I could win.”

Throughout her career, Couture has had to deal with injuries, including a broken jaw sustained just a few seconds into her grueling June, 2008 professional MMA debut.  But she says recent and much-needed surgery has her feeling like an all-new fighter.

“I haven’t fought since last October,” said Couture.  “I had to get as second surgery on my jaw.  It was exactly what I needed.  I got kicked pretty hard in practice and it popped a part loose.  There’s a steel plate in the front of my jaw, but I got the top part, by my ear, tightened up and it’s all good as new now.”

Couture will be working with female Cristiane “Cyborg” Santosfor the final portion of training for her kickboxing bout July 30 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Other international fighters on that July 30 card include Denis Goncheronok of Minsk, Belarus; Sergio Cario of Amsterdam, Netherlands; Edwin “El Tigre” Aguilar of Tijuana, Mexico; Pavel Turuk of Minsk; and Tim Thomas of Birmingham, England.

The card starts at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) July 30 with doors to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino opening at 6:30.

Tickets—priced at $25, $35, $50, $75, $100 and $125—are available at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and through Ticketmaster, either by calling 702-474-4000 or 800-745-3000 or going on line at 


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