Ryan Ford not phased by social media banter with Robert Hale ahead of Unified MMA 45 main event

Ryan Ford
Ryan Ford in action at Unified MMA 43. (Photo by Joel Griffith/MMA Empire)

The River Cree Resort & Casino is, once again, the home of Canada’s ultimate proving grounds when Unified MMA 45 takes over this Friday night.

Edmonton, Alta.’s Ryan Ford (23-5) steps back in the cage with his eyes on the vacant Unified MMA super welterweight title. He’ll meet Atlanta, Ga.’s Robert Hale (11-5) in the main event.

Ford, 40, has respect for anyone willing to step into the cage with him, but after some heated back and forth on social media, Ford is looking to make a statement.

“He’s an average fighter. I’ve watched his film and he’s not going to do anything that I haven’t seen before,” Ford said in an interview with MMA Empire.

“I’ve been there, I’ve done it and at the end of the day it’s going to be another fight. He’s coming all the way out here, he ain’t going to just lay down. It’s going to be a good scrap for the fans. I hope with all the talk he’s been doing he’ll be ready to back it up. Guys who talk a lot usually find out what happens.”

The veteran, Ford, understands the time for talk is over and he doesn’t plan on bringing any emotions into the cage, just a business-first attitude.

With over 52 fights as a professional against world-class competition, Ford will look to, once again, put on a show for the hometown crowd.

“It’s just a part of the game. He’s got to hype himself up somehow,” Ford explained.

“Nobody has finished me in the first round and, to be honest, he’s more of a 155er. Good for him though, he has a lot of self belief. A lot of people know I’m not the guy who talks. I show up and I do my talking with my fists, my feet, my elbows and my knees. Some people like to try and sell a fight, but for me this one is already sold out. It’s Ryan Ford in Edmonton.”

In his last outing, Ford was back in the cage for the first time in seven years at Unified MMA 43. He came up big with a submission win over Dawond Pickney, showing no signs of rust in what was a great performance.

“It was a lot of fun. You know, a lot of people don’t understand I just love to fight.” Ford said.

“That’s the thing about me, it’s in my blood. And after boxing for seven years, coming back into the cage and finishing with a triangle choke it just shows that it doesn’t matter where it goes, I know how to fight.”

In preparation for his upcoming bout, Ford recently made a trip out to Montreal for some high-level sparring.

He had the opportunity to share some rounds with current IBF and WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and it was quite the experience for the longtime combat athlete.

“It’s another level; he’s 17-0 for a reason. The experience alone, just being in the same room with him, is huge,” Ford explained.

“I’ve never been hit like that. He hits like a truck and he’s the most feared light heavyweight in the world for a reason.”

Already considered a formidable striker, spending the better part of the last seven years dedicated to the sweet science, Ford has taken things to another level on the feet.

Ford may have ended up on the wrong end of some close decisions during his stint in the squared circle, but he was always entertaining and never turned down a fight.

“I’m breathing, you know. I’m alive and I’m healthy. That’s the main key over a long fighting career,” Ford explained.

“I was on the tough end of some decisions. A lot of people that know boxing and watch those fights that were close know who really won. It did get to me sometimes because nobody likes to lose, but nobody is taking the risks that I take either. The biggest thing with me as a fighter is that you adapt to the situation at hand and keep working hard.”

Ford’s shoutouts

“Wolfhouse MMA and all my training partners. Sponsors: CBD Dream, Tap Labs, More than Doors, Moo’s Protein Muffins, Bull Nutrition, Royal Empire Jewelry, Elite Auto and Cornerstone BBQ and Spice Company.” Follow Ford on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM

Fight preview brought to you by Lisa McInnes – Verico Paragon Mortgage Inc.