UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Ed Ruth has been focused solely on improvement since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and he thinks that’ll pay dividends at Bellator 245 on Friday vs. Taylor Johnson.
When he took on Ukrainian standout Yaroslav Amosov in February, Ruth was controlled on the feet, on the ground, and even in the wrestling department. While losing wasn’t ideal, Ruth thinks the defeat was good for his long-term development as a fighter.
“I feel like I experienced some things that have been priceless (for) me growing and just getting better as a fighter,” Ruth told MMA Junkie on Wednesday.
Add in the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and Ruth had even more time to focus on his skills. With no fight available, the only progress Ruth could make was in the gym.
“It definitely just gave me a lot of time to think,” Ruth said. “You go from one fight, you lose, then you go to the next (win), and you’re like, ‘I won.’ Then, you ignore the loss. I had more time to just sit there and turn my thoughts around in my head and really think about where are my holes in my defense, holes in my offense. I just feel like this has been a whole real good time for me.”
Being outwrestled was a rude awakening, Ruth said. It was the first time it’s happened in MMA. However, it made him realize that as great of a collegiate wrestler as he was, it doesn’t mean he’s perfected MMA’s version of the craft.
“I was like, ‘Wow. You can’t just go in there and think you have the skills to be in the ring with somebody.’ I was like, ‘I’m a wrestler. I’m going in there with a wrestler.’ And I got outwrestled,” Ruth said. “I was like, ‘Woah.’ I never thought that would ever happen in MMA but it just taught me. I was like, ‘Wow. There’s more elite wrestling in MMA that’s more for MMA.’”
Bellator 245 takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card simulcasts on Paramount Network and DAZN after prelims on MMA Junkie.
Check out MMA Junkie’s full Bellator 245 interview with Ed Ruth in the video above.