WSOF 14: Ryan Ford’s Looking to “Prove” He’s a Top Ten Welterweight Versus Jake Shields
By Kelsey Mowatt
Following his highlight reel, KO win over Joel Powell in February, Ryan Ford was looking for another memorable way to make his presence felt in the World Series of Fighting welterweight rankings. To that end, Ford called for a fight with one of the promotion’s best, and most recognized fighters, UFC vet Jake Shields.
“Well you know, I asked for it,” Ford relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing how his October 11th fight with Shields came together. “I was supposed to fight for World Series of Fighting in May, but I suffered an injury, and I saw the same thing with Jake Shields.”
“He was supposed to fight Jon Fitch, and he came up with an injury as well, so I got a hold of the promoters and said ‘hey’, as soon as I found out Jake had signed with World Series, that was the first guy I wanted to fight. I said ‘hey, he’s injured, I’m injured, we’ll both be ready to go in October so I said let’s make this fight happen…I got on the Twitter, and got the phone call back saying ‘hey, you want that fight with Shields?’”
Over the last few years, Ford has established himself as one of Canada’s top welterweights, through scoring notable victories in organizations like the Maximum Fighting Championship, Aggression Fighting Championship and Bellator. During Ford’s run with the latter, he recorded victories over Kyle Baker and 50 fight plus vet, Luis Santos.
While Ford is accustomed to competing in main events, and the spotlight that comes along with it, the 32 year-old understands just how pivotal this fight with Shields is. Not only has the latter defeated several top ranked fighters over the years, but he’s a former Strikeforce champion and UFC contender.
“Oh, for sure, this is the biggest fight of my career,” said Ford (22-4), who is riding a six fight win streak. “I believe that I’ve been trying to get fights like this, a few fights ago; I believe that I’ve been ready to put it on against competitors like Jake Shields, guys who are in the top ten. I believe that I stand in that top ten perspective, and October 11th, I’m going to prove that I do.”
The fight’s importance is magnified by the fact that it will headline WSOF 14, which will also be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network in the U.S., and TSN 2 in Canada. The upcoming card will also feature Smealinho Rama versus Derrick Mehmen for the inaugural heavyweight title, and a middleweight bout between UFC vet Jared Hamman and TUF Nations competitor Luke Harris.
“It’s the biggest event, I believe, outside the UFC, in Canada,” said Ford, when asked where the October 11th event ranks in Edmonton’s history, which will host the card. “It’s the biggest, not just mixed-martial-arts, it’s the biggest fight card that will ever take place in Edmonton and me being in the main event.”
WSOF 14 will take place at the Edmonton Expo Center at Northlands.
Stay tuned to Full Contact Fighter for a follow up article with Ford, and his breakdown of the upcoming fight with Shields.