With U.S. Bellator Bouts Still On Hold, Tristar’s Ryan Ford Ready To “Put On A Show” At AFC 17
Welterweight Says “I’ve Got All These Guys Running From Me”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford made the most of his Bellator appearances last year, as the top ranked Canadian fighter not only scored a unanimous decision win over Kyle Baker in November, he also stopped 60 fight plus vet Luis Santos in May. As a result of Ford’s performances, many observers believed that the Tristar fighter would participate in Bellator’s latest welterweight tourney, which corresponded with the promotion’s move to SPIKE.
Ford’s past mistakes continue to impact the 31 year-old-fighter’s life, however, as the fighter is still having troubles clearing a legal path to compete in the U.S. As a result, and in an effort to stay active, Ford will compete for the Canadian based Aggression Fighting Championship on March 23rd.
“I had that put in my contract when we signed with them (Bellator), just because of waiting for the government,” said Ford, who was sentenced to a four year prison term nearly a decade ago, for his involvement in a home invasion. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; with the government, you owe them they want it now, but when the government owes you something it’s hurry up and wait.”
Following his aforementioned win over Santos, Ford was optimistic that he would be tapped for a Bellator welterweight tourney, and that he would also finally receive clearance to compete outside Canada.
“I wanted to be part of the last couple tournaments but it’s a situation I’m stuck in right now,” noted Ford, who has won three straight fights and is 8-2 in his last 10. “But it’s not going to stop me from fighting. There’s lots of organizations out there that aren’t in the U.S. and I’m going to fight.”
One could argue that Ford is taking a significant risk by fighting Brendan Tierney at AFC 17, as a defeat could prompt Bellator to release the Edmonton based fighter.
“There’s a risk in every fight; no matter who I’m fighting for,” Ford noted to Full Contact Fighter. “Any man can lose like any given Sunday right? I fight; that’s what I do. That’s what I do to feed my family and how I pay my bills. So, I’m not going to wait for an organization to get me a fight; if I can fight I’m going to fight. That’s what I do.”
“Like I said too, I’m a risk taker,” added Ford, who fought for Bellator when the promotion held events in Rama, Ontario. “Whoever it is, sign the bottom line and let’s scrap. It’s hard for me to get fights in the first place. I’ve got all these guys running from me.”
Tierney (10-4), however, has agreed to step up and face Ford this Saturday in Edmonton. The Power MMA fighter and Bellator vet is coming off a knockout loss to Ken Jackson last October, after winning three straight fights.
“I’ve been able to see a couple fights on him; I don’t really know too much about him,” said Ford. “I know he used to fight at 185 pounds; he’s a bigger guy, but it doesn’t really matter. I don’t really look too much and study up on what he’s going to come bring to the table. I study up on my game and do what I’m going to do when I step into that cage.”
“He’s got a respectable record and he’s coming into fight me,” Ford added. “A lot of people I hear are saying this is a tune-up fight for me, and what not, but I don’t understand what it is a tune-up fight for me? A tune-up fight for what? What am I tuning up for? I fight; that’s what I do…We’re going to put on a show come March 23rd.”