In a very close bout at Bellator 231 that saw him dropped early in the third, Ed Ruth opted to forgo his wrestling until late in the fight, managing to just do enough to capture a win over Jason Jackson.
‘The Ass-Kicking Machine’ was set to return to Bellator on Friday, taking on standout wrestler Ed Ruth. Jason Jackson, with perhaps the most straight-to-the-point nickname in MMA, entered the main card bout in Uncasville, CT on a three-fight win streak, split between Bellator and LFA.
Ed Ruth, meanwhile, was looking to capture his second win since exiting the promotion’s welterweight grand prix late last year.
Opening what was a promising 170lb match-up, the pair traded some heavy leg kicks. Jackson was the more mobile of the two, and while they were both firing, it was Jason Jackson landing a crisp right hand that did the most damage early. Ruth would then fire a body kick, only to eat a leg kick in return. And moments later, Jackson landed hard, putting Ruth on his heels! Through half the round, the fight had remained standing, where Jackson had an edge. Ruth, however, was showing no signs of taking the fight to the ground. Near the final minute of the opening frame, he’d finally come to his senses and take his opponent down. Jackson, however, didn’t stay there long. And before the buzzer sounded, Ruth wound up clipped by an uppercut.
In the second, Ruth would land a glancing head kick early, mostly blocked. Jackson began mixing up his shots, hitting the body and head. Ruth would then shoot for an uncharacteristically sloppy takedown, and nearly miss being nailed by a kick on the way up — a kick that might have been illegal had it landed. Ruth would begin walking Jackson down, trapping him with his back against the cage. However Jackson was still dangerous, and Ruth would look for a takedown again later, only to have his opponent pull free. Ruth, however, was having a much better round than in the opening stanza.
Possibly tied at a round a piece heading into the third it was Ruth coming out, looking to impose his will. But Jackson connected with a right hand, dropping Ed Ruth! He swarmed with ground n’ pound, but Ruth somehow survived! Ruth then pressed forward, but whether he was fully recovered as a big question mark. Incredibly, he’d made it back up almost instantly. Ruth would connect with a right to the side of the head that had Jackson in retreat. Jackson would rip the body with an uppercut. Ruth continued to push forward; Jackson fired off a combo, with one or two punches slipping through. With two minutes remaining, Ruth would shoot for a takedown. He took the back, but Jackson was already upright again. He then put Jackson on the floor a second time. Muscled him down a third. Time was slipping away however, and they’d end up going to the scorecards.
A very close, and fully entertaining fight, it was ‘Easy’ Ed Ruth getting the nod from the judges. This one, though, could have gone either way.
Official Result: Ed Ruth def. Jason Jackson by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)