Bellator middleweight Ed Ruth has a theory why so many fights turn into tactical, dull affairs. Instead of being themselves in the cage, fighters are trying to be someone else and it’s not working.“I think everybody wants to emulate the Conor McGregor style, the Jon Jones style,” Ruth, who faces Andy Murad at Bellator 201, told MMAjunkie. “It’s like everybody’s emulating the style instead of creating their own.
“That’s where the point fighting comes from. ‘Oh, maybe I can touch him without him touching me.’ You have an entry plan, but you don’t have an exit strategy.”
Don’t get him wrong Ruth loves to watch the greats. Jones, in particular, he praises for being “a tall guy but very balanced.” He just doesn’t see any reason to copy them.
A three-time NCAA champ, Ruth (5-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) transitioned to MMA and fought to become something more than just a takedown artist. He wound up finishing his first four opponents with strikes.
Not bad for excitement.
Ruth said he may not look like every other fighter out there, but that’s just the result of the unique style he’s built from all his years of training in different styles.
“It’s not, I do something weird,” Ruth said. “It’s more like, I’ve done it so many times, it looks weird now.”
Ruth, who meets Murad (15-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) on the MMAjunkie-streamed prelims of the June 29 event at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, Calif., thinks the best way to differentiate yourself if you’re an up-and-coming fighter is to keep a high pace in the cage. Forget about looking like someone else, and instead fight as hard as you can for as long as you can.
“I think we need more fighters that keep that pressure up, because we’re going to see more technical fights,” Ruth said. “If you have a pressure fighter, you can either back up or go forward. There’s only two things you can do, because you already know which way that guy is going.”
Ruth plans to keep that approach until Bellator decides he’s ready to fight for a title. He’s convinced he can take on top-tier talents like champ Rory MacDonald, Paul Daley and champ Gegard Mousasi. All he needs is the green light.
In the meantime, he’ll be doing the best impression of himself in the cage. Whether that’s enough to win the title, he’ll find out. But he’s optimistic.
“I’m the only person that speaks the language I speak,” Ruth said. “I want people to say Gegard was fighting me not I was fighting Gegard.”For more on Bellator 201, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.