Brennan Ward stands one big win away from a shot at the Bellator welterweight title as he continues his remarkable career renaissance at Bellator 298 on Friday night in Sioux Falls.
Ward will take on former interim champion Logan Storley in the main event in a bout that offers a stern test of his championship credentials in the promotion’s 170-pound division.
The general consensus is that Storley, a decorated former college wrestler, will lean heavily on his wrestling skills against knockout artist Ward. But Ward warned that, whichever tactic Storley takes, he’ll be fully prepared to counter it.
“I think he might come out and try to stand. I f*****g hope he does,” he said.
“I hope he worked on some cool little knick knacks with his boys down there. Maybe he’ll kick my calves or some s**t. But if he does what he does and comes out and shoots from across the cage, I’ve wrestled my whole life. I’ve got a plaque too. I may not have three like him, but I’ve got a plaque, too. And I wasn’t taking s**t seriously in college. So, you ain’t just gonna come out here and take me down. I’ve never really been taken out.”
The bout offers Ward a path to a title shot, and a bout with undefeated welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov. It’s a matchup Ward said he’d relish, and would approach with the same mindset that has seen him blast his way back into contention at 170 pounds.
“Logan’s the number one guy, so it would only make sense,” he said.
“If I fight (Amosov)… I hate to always say this, but I don’t care who it is. I don’t care who it is. It’s not as much of a sport to me as it is a fight. I’ll fight anybody. I’m not impressed by your skills, because I’m bringing a brawl to you.
“Yaroslav – he’s great. He’s more than well-rounded, he’s great everywhere. But I’m gonna brawl with him… I get dirty. I’ll fight you the same way as I would in a parking lot at Walmart as I will in the cage.”
For that opportunity to come to fruition, Ward first has to get past Storley. And, despite still competing in professional MMA as a part-time fighter with a day job, Ward said he has a clear vision of how the fight will play out on Friday night.
“I got cast into this,” he said.
“When I came back a year-and-a-half ago, I didn’t know what I was gonna do with this yet. If I was just gonna fight part-time, work my union job full-time, and just fight guys at the Mohegan Sun… 50Gs to fight in my hometown and I wasn’t training? I mean, I was training, but I was working full-time.
“Everyone knew I was part-time, so they expected part-time results. It used to give me a lot of anxiety, being a full-time pro fighter. So, it kind of just happened. I went with it. It forced my hand. I didn’t want to say ‘No’ to fighting these guys. Do I want to fight Logan Storley? Yeah I do. But to fight Logan, I have to take time off of work. I have to train. I have to diet.
“I see things for what they are. I do. I’m not this huge optimist. With the (Sabah) Homasi fight, I knew what would happen. I knew it would be messy at first, I knew it’d be crazy. I knew I’d get hit, but if I put the pressure on, it’d go my way.
“I can see what can happen. If I do my part, I can predict the outcome. Just like Friday night. If everything goes to plan, I’m going to knock this guy out in the second round.”