Ryan Ford has been fighting professionally since 2007, but he has only fought under the Bellator banner one time. After 22 professional fights, Ford is looking to break out and become a star, like most fighters in the business.

For Ford, fighting under the Bellator banner is an honor and a privilege.

“Fighting in Bellator is going to allow me to gain more fans because most of my fights have been in Canada. The plan is to get me on a card in the United States so I can gain more exposure with the fans of MMA,” Ford explained in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner.

Ford made his Bellator debut against longtime veteran Luis Santos at Bellator 67, winning by a spectacular knockout.

Ford delivers ground and pound (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

“Santos is a tough dude, he is as legit as they come,” Ford said. “He has over 50 wins and like eight losses, so you can’t get much more legit than that.”

This week, Ford is set to fight Kyle Baker at Bellator 79 as a late replacement for Paul Daley.

“I’m just there to put in work and I will go wherever they want to put me,” Ford said. “No matter what, I’m just going to put on a show that exciting for the fans and hopefully they like my work.”

On Baker, who has a wrestling background, Ford did not seem too worried that Baker would use that base to take him down and fight a grinding style against him.

“I’m not concerned at all,” declared Ford. “I’m training up here at Tristar Gym with some of the best wrestlers in the world. I’m getting reps with guys like Georges St-Pierre, Rory MacDonald, Mike Ricci and everybody there. At Tristar, you are never going to find yourself short on tough guys to train with, so anything Baker presents, I will be ready.

Ford (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

“Coming into this fight, I think I have the edge in everything, whether it be wrestling, jiu-jitsu or striking. Wherever the fight goes, I am just going to make sure that I am in a dominant position.”

Though Ford is fighting Baker, who has fought at lightweight in the past, he does not think his size is a factor in the fight.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall, so I am not going to say my size advantage is a big difference,” Ford said. “The smaller they are, the harder to put them down.”

Ford replaced Paul Daley in the Bellator 79 match-up, but is there potential for the Canadian to go toe-to-toe with the British striker somewhere down the road?

“I just want to challenge whoever they put in front of me, I’m not a guy who calls out names unless they speak my name,” Ford stated.

“I’m ready for anything.”

Ryan would like to thank all of his training partners down at Tristar Gym who helped him train for this fight, all of his sponsors, his family for sticking by him, all of his supporters and fans, and all the haters, because without them, he would not have the motivation.

Top Photo: Ryan Ford (R) connects with a kick (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He has been writing on MMA for the last year and is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.