Scott Coker has made a huge splash today (May 11, 2015) in regards to stocking his promotion, Bellator MMA, with the top athletes. It has been confirmed that former Penn State wrestler, three-time national champion, four-time All-American, and top MMA prospect Ed Ruth has decided to take his talents to the world’s second largest promotion.
Despite training for the 2016 Olympics, Ruth has apparently been negotiating with numerous mixed martial arts promotions, but has finally made a decision. Recently speaking with MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani, Ruth stated that Bellator president Scott Coker played a huge part into his decision, saying that he loves where Coker and Bellator are headed:
“I’ve known for a long time now that after I get Olympic gold around my neck, I was going to go get some MMA gold for my waist,” Ruth said. “I’ve been talking with all the major organizations, and at the end of the day, I really believe in what Scott Coker is doing with Bellator. They’re signing the top talent, they’re putting on exciting fights, and they’re letting me secure my own sponsors.”
It’s extremely interesting that Ruth brought up the fact that Bellator fighters are able to secure their own sponsorships, a privilege that is no long available to UFC fighters. With the UFC’s multi-million dollar deal with Reebok going into effect in July, the specific amount of “sponsorship” money that each fighter will make was recently made clear, and the UFC’s employees are not exactly happy to say the least, and this deal may have caused the world’s largest promotion to miss out on a prime prospect.
Many things are still unknown for Ruth, as to when he will actually fight and what weight class he will compete in. However, he has trained with now disgraced former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and has expressed interest in training at Jackson’s MMA in New Mexico. One thing is for sure though, Ruth sees himself being nothing less than a force to be reckoned with in MMA:
“It will be a little while until I step into the cage for the first time, but when I do, everyone they put in front of me is in for a world of hurt.”