Bellator rising star and amateur wrestling phenom Ed Ruth has grown accustomed to taking fights on short notice early on in his young career; both of his professional fights came within a month of each other.
Not only was the notice short, the fights were also short. Ruth, in total, spent less than five minutes accumulating two early TKO victories.
Now, after yet another last minute opponent adjustment, the three-time division 1 national wrestling champion from Penn State is scheduled to step back into the Bellator cage tonight (April 21) to face David Mundell on the undercard of Bellator 178.
Tony Reid caught up with Ruth before pro fight number three.
Tony Reid: You are 2-0 with two first round stoppages and both those fights came in less than one month’s time. You are down to fight anybody at any time in any place. With the most recent last minute opponent change and all that goes with it, how does that affect your game plan and mindset going into the fight with David Mundell?
Ed Ruth: I like it better this way. It frees up my workouts. It allows me to work out the way I want to and not have to think about what my opponent can or can’t do. It gives me a chance to focus on my strengths. It also allows me to strengthen my weaknesses. As it comes close and starts boiling down to fight time I just focus on the things I can control. I feel more comfortable going into a fight that way.
TR: One of your fights you took on five days’ notice. Where does that mentality come from?
ER: With the way I have been training and the time I have put in I really feel like I prepare myself for anybody. My lifestyle lends itself to that, too. When I come home from a fight I’m not sitting around on the couch. There is never really a point where I am out of shape. I always feel like I can step in to the cage any time. I like working out and staying in shape. Even if I’m not there working on MMA I will still go to the gym and run on the treadmill or swim. I’m just an active guy. As long as I am in great shape I can step into the cage and fight.
TR: You have a bright future in the sport – you are just scratching the surface. What does the future hold for you in Bellator as far as stepping up in competition?
ER: I look at it like a video game and I want to level up as fast as possible. I want to face that top competition and have confidence that I can stand in there and compete with the best jiu-jitsu players, the best boxers and the best shoot fighters in the organization. I don’t want to feel like my progress is slowed. If my progress is slow that means I’m not training right. I want to be a handful for anyone I step into the cage with. I feel like I am getting better. I enjoy that. To progress, obviously, I can then make more money. I will become a better fighter. I become more exciting. To me, progression is everything.
TR: Being an east guy that’s cool with a quick turnaround, how fun would it be to get on the Bellator NYC card at Madison Square Garden?
ER: Oh, man, if there is any way for that to happen I really want it to happen. MSG is a dream for most fighters. All fighters should have the dream to fight as MSG. MSG and Las Vegas are two of the greatest places to compete in combat sports. Everybody pays attention to that stage.