The mixed martial arts scene is riddled with former wrestlers. And now two more guys are set to make their mark in the Bellator cage as three-time NCAA champion Ed Ruth and Tyrell Fortune, a two-time NJCAA champion and Division II champion, received their first opponents.
Both Ruth and Fortune will fight in preliminary bouts at Bellator 163 on November 4 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
"I'm so excited," Ruth said. "I couldn't help but to be excited. "I'm really looking forward getting in there for the first time. I have an unorthodox wrestling style, and I look forward to bringing that to the cage with my fighting style."
Ruth will be facing fellow Bellator newcomer Mark Mangiardi at 185 pounds in one of two preliminary bouts of the night, which will be streamed on Bellator.com and begins at 7:50 PM ET.
"I'm approaching this fight the same way that I would a big wrestling match," Ruth said. "I still have to cut weight and train and make sure I'm doing all the right things heading into the fight to make sure I'm at my best when the fight comes."
In the other preliminary fight, Fortune will face Cody Miskell, who will also be making his debut.
"I can't wait to get in there and hit him in the face or elbow him in the face," Fortune said with a laugh. "It's just that feeling of being on top of somebody and being able to rain down punches that gives me a sense of joy."
Though he is just going into his first professional fight, Fortune's goals are still very big.
"I plan to make the fastest ascension to a heavyweight title that anyone has ever seen, and I think it's very possible with my position and the belt being vacant," Fortune said. "I'm not going to say that the weight class is wide open, but I will say that there aren't very many high-level guys and I feel like I can do it."
Both Fortune and Ruth will be making their debuts on a card that features fellow former Penn State wrestler Phil Davis as the headliner in a light heavyweight title fight against undefeated Liam McGeary.
Complete "Bellator 163: McGeary vs. Davis" Main Card:
Light Heavyweight World Title Bout: Liam McGeary (11-0) vs. Phil Davis (16-3)
Welterweight Co-Main Event: Saad Awad (19-8) vs. Brennan Ward (13-4)
Welterweight Feature Bout: Paul Daley (38-14-2) vs. Derek Anderson (14-2)
Heavyweight Feature Bout: Sergei Kharitonov (23-5) vs. Javy Ayala (9-5)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Marloes Coenen (23-7) vs. Talita Nogueira (6-0)
Complete Preliminary Card:
Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Ed Ruth (Debut) vs. Mark Mangiardi (Debut)
Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Tyrell Forune (Debut) vs. Cody Miskell (Debut)