WSOF 14: Ryan Ford’s Talks Jake Shields, Knows Game Plans Change When “You Get Punched in the Face”
By Kelsey Mowatt
If you were to ask most observers what kind of approach Ryan Ford will take against Jake Shields this Saturday at World Series of Fighting 14, chances are nearly all of them would say he’ll look to ‘keep it standing’. After all, not only does Shields possess one of the sport’s most highly regarded ground games, but Ford has showcased a powerful striking arsenal in some of his most recent fights.
While it remains to be seen what Ford’s strategy will be, the Tristar fighter had this to say on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, when asked if he might shoot in on Shields come October 11th.
“Yeah, you know, I’m looking to do what I’ve got to do to win,” said Ford. “You know everybody has a game plan until that cage door shuts, and you get punched in the face, and game plans change very quick. So, I’m focused on what I’m going to be doing in this fight and I know what Jake wants to do in this fight.”
“He’s a very tough guy; he’s a very strong guy, and an elite grappler,” Ford furthered about Shields. “That’s a place where obviously you know when you’re fighting him, you don’t want to go, but I’m going to make sure during this training camp that if it does go there, that I’m prepared, and I am ready to do what I have to do.”
Ford was tapped for a headlining bout with Shields after recording one of his most memorable victories to date. At a WSOF Canada event in February, Ford KO’d Joel Powell with a vicious, front kick in the opening round. It wasn’t the first time Ford has recorded a highlight reel victory while competing for a big stage promotion, as in 2012, he stopped Luis Santos at Bellator 67.
“Yeah in Canada, but I’d like to say I haven’t got no respect from you know a lot of the big MMA communities in the United States, which I should have,” said Ford, when asked if the win over Powell garnered him more attention than his victories with Bellator. “After October 11th and what I do, I’m pretty sure they’re going to come calling, then I don’t know. Maybe I might have to stiff them on that.”
Although WSOF 14 will take place in Ford’s hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, “The Real Deal” understands that Shields is more than comfortable with being public enemy #1. Shields has been fighting professionally since 1999, and during his accomplished career, he’s faced more than a few opponents on their home turf.
“It’s not going to faze him at all,” said Ford. “He fought Georges (St-Pierre) in Toronto, in front of 60,000 people. There’s probably going to be about 5,000 people here. So that’s 55,000 less boos than he’s going to get. You know what man; he’s a gamer, he’s a fighter, the crowd’s not going to do nothing. When you’re a legit fighter, the crowd is there to support whoever they got, but for that fighter, it doesn’t help them in any way.”
WSOF 14 will be hosted by the Edmonton Expo Centre at Northlands in Edmonton. The card will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network in the U.S. and TSN 2 in Canada.