Ryan Ford Credits “Beasts” at Tristar For Transforming Him into “a Monster”
Welterweight Fighting Luis Santos in Bellator Debut Friday
By Kelsey Mowatt
Since Ryan Ford turned professional in 2007 the welterweight prospect has gone to great lengths to demonstrate that he’s in fact “The Real Deal.” If defeating the likes of established veterans like Karo Parisyan, Pete Spratt and Tom Speer, among others, wasn’t enough for some observers, a win over 50 fight plus veteran Luis Santos this Friday at Bellator 67 should do the trick.
“I’m not a guy who’s going to sit around and pick fights right?” Ford told FCF. “I fight for Bellator Fighting Championships; they’re a big organization, and if that’s who they want me to fight to welcome me to their organization, that’s who I’m going to fight. You can ask any promoter I’ve fought for; give me an opponent, that’s who you want me to fight and I’ll sign the dotted line.”
In Santos, Ford will face a man who had gone undefeated in ten straight fights, until he was defeated by Ben Saunders in the semifinals of Bellator’s welterweight tourney last October. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and decorated grappler had worked his way to a unanimous decision over noted veteran Dan Hornbuckle in the competition’s opening round.
“It’s a good match-up; it’s going to be a very explosive fight,” Ford (17-4) said about Santos (50-7-1). “He’s got a lot of fights, very experienced and well rounded and I’m just looking to go out there, get that W and put on a good show.”
“I knew I wasn’t going to get an easy fight,” Ford added, while discussing the fact he’ll face one of Bellator’s most experienced fighters in his promotional debut. “Their 170 division is pretty stacked and there really is no easy fights. At the same time I’m not looking for any easy fights. I want to become one of the best fighters in the world and to do that you have to fight the best fighters. Luis Santos, 50-7; that’s a pretty good record but I’m looking to make it 50-8 Friday night.”
While Ford’s Bellator debut will not take place within one of the promotion’s customary tournaments, a win for the powerful fighter on May 4th will likely entrench a position in the next competition.
“Well that’s the ultimate goal; when you’re in Bellator you obviously want to fight in the tournament,” Ford said. “But I’m not looking past this fight. My main focus is on Luis Santos and that fight coming up…After that, whatever happens, happens.”
To prepare for what could be one of the 30 year-old-fighter’s toughest tests to date, Ford once again made the trip from Edmonton to Montreal, to benefit from the renowned training that takes place at the latter city’s Tristar Gym.
“I’m out here at Tristar staying right beside the gym at the Tristar dorms,” Ford relayed. “I’ve been training with beasts my whole training camp. This is the third time I’ve been out here; all the guys are pretty much like family now. I trained with all the guys who just fought in the last UFC, and when you’re training with beasts you become a beast, and when you’re already a beast you become a monster. That’s what I am.”
While Santos has just one loss since May, 2009, Ford has also impressed in the last couple of years by going 8-2 in his last 10 fights. Most recently, the welterweight scored a first round, stoppage win over Ricky Goodall while competing for Aggression MMA in February.
“Obviously the thing is to get in there and win, but I wasn’t really ‘oh I have to win this fight or I’m not going to fight for Bellator,’ it was just that I had to go in there and win this fight in an explosive and well placed fashion,” Ford said, while discussing his most recent win, which came a few months after he was submitted by Strikeforce vet Dave Hulett at AMMA 8. “That’s what I did.”
Friday’s Bellator 67 card will be hosted by Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, and will be broadcast live on MTV 2.