Ed Ruth Talks 'Perfect' Matchup vs. Neiman Gracie In Bellator Grand Prix

This weekend, Bellator MMA brings top-tier mixed martial arts action to Hawaii for the first time since Elite XC ventured to the Aloha State in 2008. Friday (Bellator 212) and Saturday (Bellator 213) feature back-to-back nights filled to the brim with talent.  

One bout which shouldn’t get lost in the shuffle is the second quarterfinal clash of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix tournament between rising stars Ed Ruth (6-0) and Neiman Gracie (8-0).

A three-time National Champion wrestler at Penn State, Ruth made his MMA debut in early 2016. The NCAA standout was brought in as part of Bellator MMA’s unofficial “blue-chip prospect” initiative.

Related: FloCombat & FloWrestling rank the top 10 wrestlers in MMA

Less than two years since stepping into the cage for the first time, Ruth is still undefeated, with five knockouts in six victories.

In his last outing, Ruth knocked out 16-2 fighter Andy Murad in Round 2—cementing his place in Bellator’s tournament.

“I could have done better,” Ruth told FloCombat. “I could have moved my feet better and my technique could have been better. I’ve always been the biggest critic of my own style.”


Following his victory at Bellator 201, Ruth expressed interest in the tournament. To the surprise of some, Bellator obliged without hesitation—throwing one of their top prospects into a pool of absolute proven savages.

“It’s an honor they would consider me for it,” Ruth said. “The fact that I’m in it and get the chance to fight for the belt my second round in if I get past this guy, it’s awesome.

“I’m always a guy who likes to shake sh*t up. It’s awesome to be right there competing with the guys who are already doing it. I never want to just come in and be there when everything is getting built. I’d like to learn from the OG’s. I’m always that type of guy.”

His opponent, the 30-year-old Brazilian Gracie, is similar to Ruth in that regard. Pegged as a future star, the submission wizard has beaten savvy veterans in Bellator. None, however, has been to the level of his fellow tournament participants.

“[Gracie] is a perfect guy to fight first,” Ruth said. “I feel like our styles match up well.

“Being that I’m a wrestler and lean on my striking, I feel like I have the advantages in [those areas]. People don’t see me kick too often, but I do like to kick. If he wants it to be his fight, he has to take me down, the way I see it. Right away he’s already coming into my area.”

Wait, Kali Robbins Likes Unfrosted Pop Tarts?

Everyone loves a good nickname origin story. Whether it comes from working at Subway or a fighter’s uncanny resemblance to a popular TV figure, a good unique nickname always trumps the standard-issued "Pitbull" or "Hitman." 

V3Fights 75 Preview, Breakdown: How To Watch Live On FloCombat

By Michael Fiedel

Saturday, June 15, V3Fights will touch down at Minglewood Hall in Memphis, Tennessee, with a loaded card streaming exclusively on FloCombat. 

Top Turtle MMA: Ranking The Top 5 Contender Series Vets, More

Contender Series is back!

And we're celebrating the return of MMA on Tuesday nights by talking with two fighters who hope to earn their UFC contracts this Tuesday. Brok Weaver looks to represent him people and become the voice of the Mowa Choctaw people, and Kali Robbins looks to show that the nickname Pop Tart doesn't mean she's easy to finish.

Cage Titans FC 44: 3 Reasons To Watch Joe Giannetti, More On FloCombat

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

By Michael Fiedel

This Saturday, June 15, New England-based regional powerhouse Cage Titans brings Cage Titans FC 44 live to Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts, streaming at 6 PM ET, exclusively on FloCombat. 

Top Turtle MMA Podcast: Top 5 Potential MMA '30 For 30' Topics

The UFC is back this week with their most loaded show of the year, UFC 238, so we’re loading our show too. Since the card is all about the bantamweights, so are we. We’ll be talking to Jimmie Rivera and Aljamain Sterling about the main event and their place in the title picture. Plus, we’ll break down out favorite fights from Chicago. 

UFC 238: Aljamain Sterling Bringing 'Human Backpack' To Pedro Munhoz

null

If Aljamain Sterling wants a fight with the winner of Saturday’s UFC 238 main event between Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes, he knows he needs to first defeat Pedro Munhoz—and look good doing it. 

Fight Of The Night Magnet Frank Camacho Admits 'I Hate Confrontation'

Frank Camacho holds the distinction of being just one of three fighters to start their UFC career with three straight Fight of the Night bonuses. Justin Gaethje and Yoshihiro Akiyama are the others. It seems like every fight Camacho's in becomes a knock-em-down, drag-em-out brawl. But according to Camacho, that is not necessarily by design. 

June Preview: UFC Vets, Cowboy, Midwest Brawls, NCAA Stars, more

You won’t have to wait until July for summer fireworks this year. FloCombat is bringing all of the explosions you’ll need to kick off summer fun in style.

Top Turtle MMA: UFC Fight Night 153 Preview, Top 5 WEC Unsung Heroes, More

After a long week away from UFC action, we return this week talking about UFC in Stockholm. 

Dear Bellator MMA, Sign Nick Newell

At this stage in the game, Nick Newell’s story isn’t an unfamiliar one to MMA fans.

Born a congenital amputee, Connecticut’s Newell has overcome almost every challenge he’s faced. Whether it be inside the cage or out of it, Newell has continually conquered the toughest tests life throws at him.