clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ryan Ford's short-term goals: Become a role model, whoop Jake Shields at WSOF 14

World Series of Fighting (WSOF) Canadian welterweight champion Ryan Ford is set to take on UFC veteran Jake Shields this Saturday (Oct. 11, 2014) in the main event of WSOF 14 in his hometown of Alberta, Canada. Seeking his seventh straight victory, "The Real Deal" sat down with to discuss his upcoming opponent, why he wants to be a role model, and the benefits of training with the best of the best at Tristar Gym.

Ryan Ford is ready to make a name for himself in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community this weekend as he takes on his toughest opponent yet in UFC veteran and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields. Ford welcomes Shields to World Series of Fighting (WSOF) this Saturday (Oct. 4, 2014) in the main event of WSOF 14.

Ford, the WSOF Canadian welterweight champion, comes into Saturday night's bout on a six-fight winning streak, five of which have come by way of knockout/technical knockout. In his last bout, Ford annihilated Joel Powell en route to a hellacious front kick knockout a la Anderson Silva, and "The Real Deal" plans on adding Shields to his highlight reel this weekend.

Ford is one of the brighter prospects in the welterweight division throughout MMA, but at age 31, he has a lot of ground to make up if he plans on making waves in the division. With a career-making opportunity staring across the cage from him this weekend, Ford sat down with to discuss Shields, his goals as a fighter, and why he wants to be a role model to troubled youth.

Why he feels momentum is on his side:

I have won six straight so I feel like I have all the momentum going into this fight. I know every time I step in the cage I can pull it off and finish the fight at any moment, and I have proven that. Nobody I have fought has been able to just run right through me, and Jake Shields won’t be the guy to do it. It will be a fight, so if he thinks he is just going to walk through me, he has the wrong dude standing in front of him.

Is a WSOF welterweight title shot looming?

My first and main priority right now is Jake Shields. After this fight, whatever happens, happens. If there is another title fight there for me, and the money is right, I am all for it. When I beat Shields I am for sure the No. 1 contender in the WSOF welterweight division.

How he plans on making a name for himself by finishing Jake Shields:

My goal is to get the job done in spectacular fashion this weekend. People are going to really raise their heads after this fight and give me the credit that I am due. Jake Shields, on the other hand, fans can say all the negative things they want to about him, but they don’t have to step in the cage against him. He runs his game plan very well and makes fights tough on his opponents. I have to stay on top of my game, stay focused, and not let that happen. I have to let my game handle itself.

I believe that as long as I impose my will wherever the fight goes, I’ll be successful. I am different than all the fighters Jake has already fought. A lot of fans see these guys come from bigger shows and expect them to have the upper hand, but that is just not the case here. They have not seen me yet, but they will be in for a big surprise this Saturday night and see why people call me the real deal.

The benefit of training at Tristar Gym:

I started off my fighting career training at the local gyms here in Canada. Now don’t get it twisted because there are a lot of good guys training out here, but since my move over to Tristar gym it’s improved my game 100 fold. I love being there. Tristar is like a family. Everybody puts work in together, and we all want to see each other succeed. When you are in a room full of guys that are the top guys in the world, you get to gauge just how good you are.

Training with the likes of Rory MacDonald, Georges St-Pierre, and the rest of the team gives me confidence for sure. These guys have faced and beaten the top guys in the world, and I know I can hang with them. The scary part is that I am a totally different fighter in training than I am in the cage. I know now that I can hang with and beat the best guys in the world.

Reminiscing on his sensational front kick knockout, and why he thinks it deserves "KO of the year" consideration:

100 percent, I think I deserve "knockout of the year" consideration. I know Anderson Silva pulled off the front kick against Vitor Belfort, but it’s pretty rare in MMA. If you just listen to the sound from the force of the kick, if you just close your eyes and only focus on the sound, that sound was heard around the world from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

It was a beautiful moment. I believed it, but afterwards it was just so surreal. I was running around asking for the replay because I just had to see what just happened. I watched it over, and over, and over again and all I could think of was "Wow! I pulled that off!" I knew one day I would catch somebody with it, and February 21st was that day and it was for the title on top of it.

Why being a role model is so important to him:

I just want to be remembered as the guy who turned his life around from something negative to something positive. I want to be a role model to kids who are growing up and going down the wrong path. I want to show that you can change that course of life, you can change the direction you are going, and do something you love doing that is positive.

For me, it’s big for kids to understand that even though you are young, even though you went down the wrong path, even if you didn't have good family structure, if you surround yourself around positive people, and people who love you, you can do anything you set your mind to. As long as you have that dedication, and that heart towards it, anything can happen.

Ford is a man on a mission as he heads into the biggest fight of his life.

With so much to gain in securing a victory over Shields, Ford is champing at the bit to get inside the cage. With Tristar gym honing his skills every day, Ford has the opportunity to pull off a massive upset, spoiling Shields' WSOF debut, and solidifying himself as the No. 1 welterweight contender in WSOF.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania