Bellator Vet And WSOF Newcomer Ryan Ford Weighs in on Recent Cross Promotional Challenge
By Kelsey Mowatt
World Series of Fighting raised thousands of eyebrows throughout the MMA world not long ago, when its executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz, challenged Bellator to a cross promotional showdown. Since the card featured prominent and established fighters from each organization, the challenge quickly captured headlines, even though Bellator did not pick up the gauntlet.
One man who is in somewhat of a unique position to comment on the proposed card is Ryan Ford. Not only has the Tristar welterweight fought for Bellator on two occasions, and scored wins each time, but more recently he was signed by World Series of Fighting Canada.
“I looked at it but what name isn’t on there is me,” Ford said on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, when asked if he was aware of WSOF’s challenge to his former employer. “Did I think it was interesting? Yeah it was interesting, but did I really give too much thought on it? No; because my name wasn’t involved.”
The proposed card featured several intriguing match-ups, some of which included Tyrone Spong vs. “Rampage” Jackson, Anthony Johnson vs. Attila Vegh, and Andrei Arlovski vs. Vitaly Minakov among others. While the idea quickly prompted widespread discussion amongst the MMA media and fans, the consensus opinion seemed to be that the proposed card was dead in the water.
“I don’t think it will ever come together,” the 31 year-old Ford noted. “Do I think it would be good? Yeah! It brings a whole different approach to Bellator and World Series of Fighting. I think it would draw a lot more fans but the chances of it happening; I don’t see it.”
Ford competed for Bellator in 2012, and after stopping 50 fight plus vet Luis Santos that May, he went on to decision Kyle Baker in November. As a result of the performances, Ford was expected to compete in one of Bellator’s upcoming welterweight tournaments.
Ongoing visa issues, however, have prevented Ford from competing in the United States and in 2013, he fought for Aggression Fighting Championship twice. The Canadian based promotion reached an agreement with World Series of Fighting late last year, and WSOF Canada was created. Now, Ford will fight Joel Powell for the promotion’s Canadian welterweight title on February 21st.
“It’s the fight game right; I’m looking to fight and stay active, and if an organization can’t keep me active and fighting, then it’s my best move to move on and fight somewhere else,” said Ford, while discussing his move to WSOF Canada, which plans to hold multiple shows throughout the country in 2014. “Like I say all the time; I have a family to feed, I have a roof to put over their heads, so I have to fight. This is my job. I do nothing else but train, eat, breathe, train and spend time with my family.”
“If I don’t fight, I don’t make money, if I don’t make money I don’t have a roof over my head, my bills aren’t paid and my kids don’t eat.”
Ford’s title fight with Powell will be hosted by the Edmonton Expo Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.
Stay tuned for a follow up report regarding Ford and his thoughts on the upcoming match-up.