ByEd Ruth, writer at
Ed Ruth

Being that this is my first post for Champions, I figured I would start by introducing myself. My name is Ed "The Truth" Ruth, and I'm a three-time NCAA championship wrestler out of Penn State University. And now, I'm hoping to become the next great MMA fighter.

Like a lot of guys in my line of work, I first got into wrestling through the WWE. Watching those guys throw each other off the ropes and slam each other into the mat was so captivating as a kid, and I was hooked immediately. And although I was never able to pull off a Stone Cold Stunner during my high school wrestling career, I did graduate as an All-American, joined Penn State's already elite team, and upped my game to a level I didn't previously think was possible.

The thing about winning the NCAA's for the first time is the effect it has on you mentally. It's the craziest feeling in the world, all your hard work and sacrifices you've made over the years finally paying off, and you wake up thinking that the sun should almost be shining brighter because of it. You don't even grasp the concept that you're a national champion until people start introducing you as one -- you feel yourself being placed into this role, and after awhile, you start believing that you are that person. People always ask me what it's like to be up on that big of a stage, and if I get nervous, but the truth is that it's impossible to explain.

One of the biggest takeaways from my collegiate career, however, came in the one year I didn't win it all. During the quarterfinals, I suffered an injury that would've kept most guys from competing, but it was in the moments before I continued on that I realized that nothing's perfect -- how you win is not going to be perfect, how you lose definitely isn't going to be perfect, all that matters is the end result. Going into my sophomore year, I felt so mentally solidified knowing that I was still able to take third the year before without one of my legs.

So when I was leaving college and looking over my options, I knew that I was tough enough to give MMA a try.

Making the transition to MMA seemed like an obvious step. I had two teammates -- Bubba Jenkins and Phil Davis -- who left Penn State and starting fighting shortly thereafter, and they both seemed to be handling it pretty well, so I decided that I should start incorporating a few boxing lessons into my wrestling regimen.

Pretty quickly, I realized how well the sports complimented each other, and I was hooked like I was a kid again. I started taking up Jiu Jitsu after that, and realized that once you get over your fear of being on your back (which all wrestlers are hardwired to hate), the principles of using leverage to defeat your opponent that I had learned as a wrestler made the transition pretty easy. And the great thing about being a wrestler is how small the community is, which gave me opportunities to train with some of the sport's best fighters in Jon Jones and Chris Weidman and learning the ropes before settling into my new home at Dethrone MMA in Fresno, California.

Right now, it looks like I'll be making my Bellator debut in November at Bellator 163. I'll be fighting Mark Mangiardi, and you can guarantee that I'm going to put a hurting on this guy and put my stamp on the Bellator middleweight division. After that, I'll be taking out any guy I can get my hands on, because being a real fighter means taking on any guy, any time, and facing the unique challenges they present head on.


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