Ed Ruth Not Sweating High Expectations Ahead Of Next Fight

Top Bellator prospect Ed Ruth was just one of many kids growing up watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and wanting to imitate their weapon-based martial arts style of combat.

From handling nunchuks to bo staff, Ruth was the quintessential Ninja Turtles fan with his own choices for best members of the famous cartoon quartet.

“I love Mikey! Between [all four Ninja Turtles] Michelangelo and Donatello, those two I feel like they really glue the team together,” Ruth said.

Although parents and adults advised children to not fight using weapons such as those, Ruth said it has helped him with his balance and hand-eye coordination, two tools that has helped him in his college years when he was a three-time NCAA wrestling champion at Penn State.

“When I was a little kid, I used to play with all kinds of stuff like bo staffs and nunchucks. I watched a lot of karate shows, monks training with sticks and a lot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I started doing a lot of that stuff when I was a kid and lo and behold. It’s funny because it actually helped a lot with my balance and with my hand-eye coordination and it helped me a lot with sports.I kept doing it and it has helped a lot,” Ruth told Fight Sports.

Now Ruth is just days away from his sixth pro MMA fight against Andy Murad in Temecula, California and expectations for Ruth are higher than ever for the young fighter to impress.

But if one were to think that the pressure for Ruth to shine in his welterweight debut is big, they would be wrong. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, according to Ruth.

“It’s weird because you would think that there is more pressure but I feel like the more my career grows, the better I do, the less pressure is there. It’s more expected out of myself.”

After fighting at 190, 189, 185 twice and 174, Ruth feels like 170 lbs. is his home at Bellator and believes what is left in 2018 and 2019 will be the period where Ruth breaks out and perhaps becomes a welterweight title contender.

“I definitely see 2018 [as the year I break out] and even 2019. It’s coming soon. I feel like the time and dedication I’ve put to this sport and in my practice, I feel like I’ve put myself into this position [to succeed]. I haven’t been letting other people dominate what I do. I’ve been doing the research [on how to get better] and been putting myself more into this sport. I expect myself to come up soon. When you love something and you do it and I feel like it’s impossible to fail at that,” Ruth said.

Ruth’s transition from top collegiate wrestler to top MMA prospect was not essentially a hard one, but it had its own trials and tribulations. The toughest part, according to Ruth, was training his body to withstand the rigors of mixed martial arts and overcoming minor injuries that came from purely wrestling to mixed martial arts.

But throughout it all, Ruth took charge of his transition, never letting one person take full control of him while he becomes the exciting prospect that he is now.

“It wasn’t tough to be honest. If anything, I embraced the challenge. The only thing that made it tough was that, with any sport that you start, you have to start with training your body. You basically have to rewrite your body. For example, if you want to kick above your head, you have to start stretching,” Ruth said.

“That was the hardest part in transitioning to MMA because I would have little injuries here and there, whether that would be a knee injury or a pinched nerve or something with my toe or a finger, injuries like those that you would receive during kickboxing because it’s hard on the bones. I had to do so many different things that were hard on my body that it eventually made my body durable and afterwards, things took off,” Ruth said.

Now standing in Ruth’s path is the 17-fight veteran Murad. With Murad holding an impressive 15-2 record, Ruth has his work cut out for him, but Ruth is not only confident of his ability to win what he thinks will be an exciting matchup, but he also called his shot in how he is going to impress Bellator fans on June 29.

“I want to call it: second-round knockout,” Ruth said.


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