Bellator Vet Ryan Ford Plans to “Let my Body Heal up” After Winning AFC Title
21-4 Fighter Not Planning to Fight Again Until 2014
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although 2013 still has a ways to before the year is up, newly crowned Aggression FC champion and Bellator vet Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford, plans on finishing out the campaign without fighting again. Ford recently submitted TUF veteran Mike Hill at AFC 19 to take home the promotion’s welterweight belt, but due to a fractured arm he incurred and a busy schedule lately, the 31 year-old doesn’t plan on fighting again this year.
“For me, I’m not going to fight until the New Year,” Ford revealed recently on Full Contact Fighter Radio. “I’m going to take a little bit of a rest; focus on opening my gym here in Edmonton and just let my body heal.”
Ford also competed at AFC 17 in March, and knocked out Brendan Tierney in the second round, to follow up on back-to-back wins he secured with Bellator.
“My last fight, March 23rd, I came off a knockout win, busted my thumb, had surgery there, put the pins in my thumb,” added Ford, who has spent extensive time training at the renowned Tristar gym in Montreal. “For this camp I pretty much only trained for three weeks to get ready for this fight. Two fights, two broken bones, so I’m like, damn man, this sucks.”
“I’m going to let my body heal up, and hopefully come New Year, either with Bellator or Aggression, I’m going to be able to put on another showtime performance.”
While Ford (21-4) has been making waves in Canadian MMA for several years now, some might say 2012 was a breakout year for the powerful fighter, as he stopped 60 fight plus vet Luis Santos and decisioned Kyle Baker under the Bellator banner. According to Ford, even if the growing promotion comes calling for a bout in 2013, the answer will be no.
“Yeah man, two busted bones in two fights, I’m going to relax a little bit here,” said Ford, when asked specifically about the possibility of fighting for Bellator. “I’ve been going hard here for my whole career. For a guy who’s been fighting just over six years, 25 fights man, I’ve been putting in the work right?”
“You know, if I was making those bigger, bigger paychecks, maybe it would be a little more worth it,” added Ford. “I’ve got a busted arm now, my last fight I got a busted bone, it’s summertime I want to chill with my family. I can’t even pick my kids up and throw them up in the air…that’s why I said I’m going to heal right up, make sure everything’s 100%.”
The win over Hill was Ford’s fifth straight, and the Edmonton resident has now gone 9-1 in his last ten bouts. The only men to defeat Ford to date, are UFC contender Pat Healy (twice), Bellator tourney winner Douglas Lima and Strikeforce vet David Hulett.
“If you saw the fight, you could tell after I wasn’t as happy with my performance, even though I did get the finish,” Ford said about the July 5th bout, which ended via rear-naked-choke in the fifth round. “But then I went to the hospital the next day and got an x-ray, and I was like, no, I should be happy with this performance. I fought four and a half rounds with a busted forearm and ended up finishing the fight with a choke, with the arm that was busted.”
“So I give myself a pat on the back. I did what I had to do to win and I took the strap home.”