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Ed Ruth is ready to give (not get) the ‘ass-kicking’ at Bellator 231

Ed Ruth interview

Bellator 231: “Mir vs. Nelson 2” takes place inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., this Friday night (Oct. 25, 2019), featuring a main event rematch almost a decade in the making between Frank Mir (18-13) and “Big Country” Roy Nelson (23-17) after their first encounter at UFC 130.

It could be argued that both big men have seen better days, but for Ed Ruth (7-1) only a bright future looms ahead. Despite a tough loss to Neiman Gracie in the Welterweight tournament, Ruth came back with a resounding win over long-time mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Kiichi Kunimoto to get right back in the mix. Instead of taking it easy for his next fight, Ruth is going head hunting, putting “The Ass-Kicking Machine” Jason Jackson (10-3) in his crosshairs. A veteran of both The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) and Dana White’s Tuesday Night “Contender Series,” Jackson owns four wins by knockout alongside three submissions, making him a clear danger anywhere the fight goes.

Ruth, 29, recently spoke with about how he plans to be the one giving the “ass-kicking” instead of the one taking it as he readies himself for the next test of his young career.

“I’ve been in at AKA just putting in a lot of sparring time you know, getting in the cage a lot. I’ve just kind of been brushing up on a lot more technical areas.”

Having recently signed a multi-year Bellator contract after his win at Bellator 224, Ruth certainly has the time and the job security to work on the little things as much as he wants.

“It feels good. You always hear about those guys that get laid off from their job, but they never see it coming, so it’s kind of awesome to know you’re good for a while.”

Since the fight with Kunimoto secured his place in the promotion for the foreseeable future, I asked Ruth to reflect on how that fight went and whether he expected to dominate in it.

“I didn’t (expect it) you know, I just kind of stuck to the gameplan (to) just go out there and just chip away at him little bit little. Just ... chinks in the armor until it breaks apart.”

Will Ruth employ the same kind of systematic dismantling of an opponent against Jackson?

“Yup! I’m just gonna go out there, find the areas where he’s weak in and just keep hitting those.”

Does an “Ass-Kicking Machine” have weak points? Ruth isn’t fazed by his nickname.

“{*laughing*} I mean like we’ve all got to see ourselves some way, you know? We’ve all got to see ourselves as some type of ass-kicking machine.”

Ruth will share the main card with fellow Penn State alum Phil Davis for a second time and relishes the opportunity for both Nittany Lions to kick some ass.

“Oh, it’s real exciting, you know? It’s always cool just to kind of see how our careers are just kind of going side-by-side, just running parallel to each other, and I always try to keep up with him.”

Leading up to the fight, Davis said that his favorite thing about Ruth is how he doesn’t stick to a gameplan and allows himself to be flexible in a fight. Ruth agrees.

“I like to be creative. I like to show people that there’s more than me just trying to be linear. I’m not just trying to go out there and just throw a punch and get a takedown. It’s like, ‘Oh no! He might kick me, throw an elbow, and then who the hell knows what’s next?’”

While Ruth uses his creativity to find holes in his opponents’ games, I asked him if the Gracie fight showed him any holes in his own game he needed to shore up.

“After that fight I just went back to doing a whole bunch of jiu-jitsu. You know I had to take a break before that fight, just a little knee complication, but right after that went right back in the gym. I put my gi on and just started learning the ropes all over again. I tried to like throw out everything mentally and just come back to the sport as a student.”

Ruth also had an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of Jackson going into this fight at Bellator 231, which also led to a prediction for the style of the fight.

“He seems like a guy who likes to stand up and trade. He doesn’t seem like a heavy wrestler, so I definitely see that we’re going to be on our feet for most of the fight. If it goes down to the mat, that’s my area. I feel really comfortable on the mat now.”

There’s a lot of action Friday and Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena, but Ruth isn’t worried about being overshadowed with so many fighters sharing the spotlight.

“I feel really good about it. Honestly, it’s going to be a great card, man. We’ve got like a whole bunch of great names on there. I’m really excited for it.”

As our discussion segued into some of those names like “Rowdy” Bec Rawlings, Ruth had an interesting point he wanted to share about fighting.

“Some of the best fighters aren’t undefeated. Dude, honestly I’ve seen great fighters and they have HORRIBLE records, but they are absolutely amazing fighters, you know? Like Lando Vannata. That’s one guy. Great fighter. Great movement!”

Well, in Vannata’s case, two of his last six fights went to a draw and one was a “Fight of the Night” even though he lost. Ruth’s point was that we should respect those fighters more.

“The fact you step in the ring means you’re a fighter pretty much.”

So respect the sport, respect your opponent and check out Ed Ruth at Bellator 231.

Complete audio of our interview is embedded above, and complete coverage of Bellator 231: “Mir vs. Nelson 2” resides here at all week long.

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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