Ed Ruth continues to make waves in Bellator MMA, and he’s about ready to set his sights on some bigger-name opposition.
The former three-time NCAA wrestling champion from Penn State University was impressive in his official 170-pound debut as he stopped Andy Murad via technical knockout in the second round of their bout at Bellator 201 on Friday night. Ruth, who began his career at middleweight, made a smooth transition to the welterweight division.
“I feel great,” Ruth told reporters in a post-fight interview (video via MMAjunkie.com). “Honestly this is probably the easiest weight cut.”
Ruth improved to 6-0 with the victory, and he has finished all but one of his opponents via knockout or technical knockout. The 27-year-old Dethrone Base Camp representative is hoping his performance was enough to merit consideration for Bellator’s welterweight grand prix, which kicks off on Sept. 29 in San Jose, Calif.
“I think that tonight has put me in the running,” Ruth said. “Hopefully I’m going to be in it. I will not say no to that.”
However, it appears that Bellator President Scott Coker has other plans. Ruth can make it into the bracket, but he’ll have to win another fight first.
“What we’re going to do is we’ll find somebody that is ready to step into the tournament, they can have one more fight … Maybe in August, and whoever wins the fight between Ed and the fighter, they’ll fight their way into the slot,” Coker said during a media scrum.
While no matchups have been confirmed for the grand prix, divisional staples such as Douglas Lima, Michael Page, Andrey Koreshkov and Paul Daley are all expected to compete. Ruth is ready and willing to take on any of the above.
“You jump into this sport, who are you looking to fight? You’re not just going to coast along,” he said. “You’ve got to look toward the big guys. These are the guys that got me in it, so of course I want to fight those guys that got me in it.
“I want to fight them all,” Ruth added. “If it’s Rory, then it’s Rory. If it’s Paul Daley, it’s Paul Daley. If it’s [Douglas] Lima, it’s Lima. If it’s ‘MVP’ [Michael Page] – anybody it is. If you want to be the best fighter, you’ve got to be the best fighter, and the best fighter beats all the fighters.”