Canadian welterweight Ryan Ford would like nothing more than to see his name listed next to the likes of Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz among the 170-pound division’s elite. While he still has a lot of work to do to establish himself as a household name in the MMA community on par with those two stars, Ford does not plan on letting anything stand in his way…not even a malfunctioning cage.

“I’m a fighter, man, and I believe that you got to adapt yourself to the situation you’re put in,” Ford told The MMA Corner in a recent interview. “I’m just a guy that wants to get in there and fight.”

“You got to be able to still keep your mind right, and get in there and scrap.”

It wouldn’t be hard to blame Ford if he did have any misgivings about the cage at the June 10 “Aggression MMA 7: Confrontation” event in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. On a night where Ford would lock horns with Nick Hinchliffe to determine who would move on to a title shot within their respective promotions – Ford was vying for a slot in an Aggression MMA welterweight championship bout, while Hinchliffe looked to earn a similar slot under the Armageddon Fighting Championship banner – problems with gaps opening in the plywood flooring of the cage had already resulted in a no-contest ending to the co-headliner between Luke Harris and John Troyer and a temporary halt at the two-minute mark of Ford’s fight with Hinchliffe.

Ford’s answer to the problem was to try to avoid the particular area of the cage where the issue arose. He also had an answer for his opponent, as he scored a third-round TKO of “The Juggernaut.”

“I was going in there to work my stand-up,” Ford said of his strategy against Hinchliffe. “I ended up catching him in the third (round), but I almost had him finished in the first there. I rushed it a little bit, but, yeah, I just ended the fight like I always do: In spectacular fashion.”

The win places Ford in a Sept. 16 contest to determine a welterweight champion for the Aggression MMA organization. While Ford knows the date of the fight, Aggression MMA has yet to name his opponent. The title fight will be the next we see of Ford in active competition, but it’s not for a lack of opponents who want to challenge themselves against the Canadian.

“I’m not a guy that’s waiting to get any fights, there’s a lot of guys that want to fight me,” claimed Ford.

Ford has put together a nice list of victories in his run up to the title shot. Before dropping Hinchliffe, “The Real Deal” had dealt losses to the records of UFC veterans Pete Spratt (via submission) and Karo Parisyan (by way of doctor’s stoppage), as well as to prospect Johnny Davis (via TKO).

While Ford has been stockpiling wins lately, there are some vocal fans who have written off his TKO victory over Parisyan as nothing more than luck. In a fight that featured some impressive judo throws from the UFC veteran, Ford quite likely entered the third round down on the judges’ scorecards.

“I just played into his game,” Ford explained. “That’s why we were doing a lot of the grappling and pretty much playing judo. Other than that, I wasn’t worried or anything in that fight. He didn’t have me hurt or anything. The only thing I had to do was finish it.”

While his detractors might call the win over Parisyan luck, Ford looks at it differently.

“Fans can say I got lucky,” stated Ford. “I still got the ‘W.’ If they think anything was lucky, it’s something I threw to make happen. It wasn’t just a lucky knee that I threw. I meant to throw that knee and I caught him in the right spot.

“It’s up to the ref and the doctors to do what they got to do. I’m in there to scrap and my job is to beat my opponent any way I have to. Fans want to say it was lucky? Well, it was lucky if that’s what they want to say, but, to me, I whooped his ass.”

With Ford’s opinion clearly stated, a rematch against an opponent he defeated does not interest him. So, don’t expect Ford vs. Parisyan II anytime soon.

“I’m on a four-fight win streak right now and he’s on a two-fight losing streak,” Ford said. “I don’t really care about fighting him; I already beat him. I want to fight the next guy.”

However, there is always a chance. Mixed martial arts is still a business, and Ford is a businessman. He is always looking to do what’s best for him and for his family.

“If a promoter believes that they can make money off that fight, and they want to pay us to do a rematch, and if I don’t have nothing signed up for that, then, well, hey, this is my job is to fight, right?” reasoned Ford. “Promoters put those opponents up in front of me, and it’s my job to put them down any way I can.”

Ford (l) vs. Hinchliffe (Trevor Robb/West Edmonton Local)

“The Real Deal” follows the same philosophy when it comes to the location of his fights. Despite a four-fight win streak and a 16-3 overall record, Ford’s dark past – he spent four years behind bars for his part in a violent home invasion that took place in 2003 – has prevented him from fighting in the United States so far. Yet, he doesn’t feel his career hinges on fighting stateside.

“For me, it’s not (that) I want to get out to the US and fight,” the Canadian admitted. “Yeah, there’s a lot of US promotions out there, but, the thing is with me is, is it going to do good for me?

“Is the money going to be right? Is the contract going to be right? Are the opponents going to be there? Because, with me, (fighting) is what I love to do, but also it’s a business to me. If it don’t make the right business ventures for me, I’m not going to do it.”

While fighting in the US might not be a top priority, Ford has been dealing with paperwork to allow him entrance into the States. The paperwork recently cleared, and Ford is already making plans.

“I’m looking to try to move out to Orange County here hopefully by the end of this year,” Ford revealed.

The move isn’t purely a change in scenery, but also an opportunity for Ford to form new training alliances. After spending years training all around Edmonton, most notably with the Zugec Ultimate Martial Arts gym, Ford plans to spend time at King’s MMA in Huntington Beach, where he will be under the tutelage of Master Rafael Cordeiro and train alongside the likes of Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Fabricio Werdum and Renato “Babalu” Sobral. In addition, he might also pay a visit to a friend to further enhance his skills.

“I’ll probably stop by and see a buddy of mine, Antonio McKee, and I’ll get some good wrestling out of there,” said Ford. “I’m just looking to make me better, and that’s what I believe I got to do.”

With a new camp behind him and an ever-improving resume, Ford is on the road to success. If two UFC veterans, two top prospects and a malfunctioning cage weren’t able to stop him, what will?

One thing’s for sure, it won’t be his haters.

“You know, they might think they not supporting me, but they my biggest supporters!”

Ryan Ford would like to thank Kia West Edmonton, Headrush MMA, TapouT, G’d Up Clothing, Full Tilt Poker and beatdown.ca.

 

Top Photo: Ford (l) vs. Hinchliffe (Trevor Robb/West Edmonton Local)

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