Ross Pearson - MMAWEEKLYThe last name “Couture” is no stranger to the Octagon but Ryan Couture is. Son of Hall of Fame fighter Randy Couture, the 30-year old is making his UFC debut this weekend at UFC on Fuel 9 where he’ll face Ultimate Fighter 9 winner Ross Pearson. The 6-1 Couture has been rising through the ranks since turning pro in 2010 and is currently on a four-fight run, positioning himself for a shot at the Top 10 if successful on Saturday night in Stockholm.

Though Couture didn’t draw an easy opponent for his first foray, he didn’t expect an easy ride and is glad the UFC has given him a chance to show he belongs against a well-known adversary.

“I was expecting a tough fight. I just fought a former champion in K.J. Noons, so I certainly wasn’t expecting a step back in competition. Ross is a hell of a tough guy and right about the level of opposition I was expecting. I was mentally prepared for it,” said Couture in a recent conversation with MMAJunkie. “When they offered the fight, I was excited about it. Especially having fought strikers my last couple of fights, it’s sort of a continuation of the things we’ve been working on in training, so it made sense, and it’s another fun challenge and another puzzle to try and solve.”

Couture is also excited to finally be in the UFC where his father held titles in two divisions. The younger Couture, who has referred to himself as “Natural Light” in the past with a nod to his pop’s nickname, doesn’t have his eye on a belt just yet but may start thinking more about one if he lives up to his own expectations and beats Pearson.

“Obviously growing up and watching UFC events and looking forward to them like I did and being as big of a fan as I was, it always was there in my mind, that this was sort of the ultimate goal and would be kind of the dream at the end of the day. I’ve just got to get through this fight first, and then I can start to sort of make plans and depending on how things unfold on fight night, how well I’m able to perform, then we’ll start to adjust the expectations from there,” he explained.

Pearson-Couture is currently the card’s co-headliner but could be bumped up to the top spot if Alexander Gustafsson is removed from the main event due to a cut he sustained while training for a tilt against Gegard Mousasi.