Bellator welterweight Brennan Ward makes his return to the cage this Friday (August 25) against Fernando Gonzalez at Bellator 182.
The 29-year-old ‘Irish Bad Boy’ has been a regular fixture in Bellator since making his debut for the organization back in November 2012 and has become a major draw in his home state of Connecticut.
Ahead of his fight with Gonzalez in New York, Ward, 14-5, took time out of his fight preparations to speak with Fighters Only contributor Tony Reid.
Q: You have a similar style to Fernando Gonzalez, but you seem to get started early while it takes him longer to get off. How does this fight play out once the cage door shuts?
Brennan Ward: My style makes people start early. I think we are just going to get it going right off the bat.
Q: Where does a win over Fernando put you in the division?
BW: The thing is, I am always a fight or two out from a title shot. I am never not going to be a top guy. On any day I can beat any dude in that division. I have been with Bellator since 2012. I was supposed to fight for the title last year before Benson (Henderson) came over. I’m not going anywhere. I am getting older. I have been around for a while. I’m never going to try to win a boring fight. I could take Fernando down and lay on him for 15 minutes. Trust me. I guarantee you I can do that to anyone in this division. I choose not to. People don’t want to see that.
Q: Where does that kill-or-be-killed, fight-finishing style come from?
BW: I have been like this my whole life. In wrestling, in football, in everything. I would overcommit in football. I would blow coverages. I would bite on play actions all the time. In college wrestling I would go for big f**king headlocks and lat drops. I don’t know what it is. I have always just wanted to go big in everything I do.
Q: In our last interview you said you are as big a fan of the surf/skate lifestyle as you are of the fighting lifestyle. Do you go big in that realm, too?
BW: Absolutely. I have been surfing all week. We have had big waves all week. That’s just my style. I’m that kind of guy.
Q: Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith recently said you are like a young Robbie Lawler. What are your thoughts on that?
BW: He’s a tough dude but there really isn’t much difference between me and him. I’m out here trying to put on a fucking show. I will be remembered as a guy who did just that.
Q: Bellator has signed a number of great young stars. What are your thoughts on potential fights with a guy like Rory MacDonald or Benson Henderson?
BW: They are all sick. They are all good. They are all super technical. They are great fighters with awesome game plans but you can’t game plan for me. You can’t. I am a better athlete than all of those guys. I will take it to where I want to take it. I am bigger, faster and stronger than all of them. They might be more technical than me. They might game plan better than I do. They might have better structured training than I do, but, at the end of the day, I can come out and just knock you the f**k out with a jab.
Q: We see the aggressive style, but is there some controlled aggression or organized confusion in the mix there?
BW: I guess, man. I just try to hit them more than I get hit.
Q: The big boxing fight on the horizon is Floyd Mayweather, Jr. versus Conor McGregor. What is your prediction?
BW: I have a similar thought to most people on this one. I think McGregor could win in the first few rounds, but if it goes past the first few rounds I think Mayweather takes it.