“I’m probably just going to do the same thing. Just go out there and try to finish the fight as early as I can,” Brennan Ward told Cageside Press on Wednesday, asked if he’d try to top his comeback fight earlier this year. “I don’t like to leave the first round, so I’ll try to get this one done inside the first round.”
Ward’s story is well-known by now. The welterweight overcame addiction and felony charges to return to fighting, after squandering his talents and nearly losing his career for good over the past several years.
Things are looking rosier these days. After a one-fight “tryout” in February that saw him crush opponent Brandon Bell, Ward (15-6) is now on a four-fight deal. And back on the main card again at Bellator 282, as he was in the Bell fight. That would be indicative of a certain level of faith from the promotion, on the surface. But Ward believes it has more to do with his finishing ability than anything else.
After all, he’s done nothing but finish in his career.
“Being on the main card, you gotta put on a show. We’re all kind of in this together, we won’t have jobs as fighters if we don’t attract viewers and we’re not putting on a good show and doing what we’re supposed to do,” Ward explained.
He sees it from both the fighter’s perspective, and fan’s. “Plenty of times I’ve been watching a fight card from whatever promotion, and if I see two guys just out there playing pitter-patter, just kind of sparring each other, I’ll click. I’ll put the hockey game on, baseball game, whatever’s on. Us as fighters, we’ve got to go out there— you want to finish the fight. You want to try to knock the dude out, try to choke the dude out as fast as you can. Go big or go home, really. That’s why Bellator puts me on these main cards, because they know I’m going to bring it.”
And that is where Ward’s finish rate comes in. “I would like to actually see— I have the highest finish percentage, ever. I have a 100% finish rate. Anybody with over ten wins in the Bellator cage, I don’t know anyone else that has all finishes. I have all finishes. All. That’s why they put me on the main cards.”
Technically, Ward did go to a decision once, early in his career — but that was prior to Bellator. Inside the Bellator cage, Ward has 11 wins, and as many finishes. Even his losses have all been stoppages; the man simply does not like the judges it seems.
On Friday at Bellator 282, Ward will face Kassius Kayne, who, while having a supervillain sounding name, isn’t exactly super-well known among fight fans. Still, Kayne has split a pair of fights with UFC vet Maki Pitolo, and shared the cage with another UFC veteran in Derrick Krantz.
Ward is expecting a tough fight, and he’s hoping Kayne will meet him in the middle.
“Anyone who gets in the cage, anyone who can make it to this level and can fight on this level, like me— I believe we’re around the same age, me and Kassius. We’re both in our 30s. If you’re still kicking around in your 30s doing this, it’s for a reason, you’re a tough dude. You’ve got probably a couple screws loose, and you’re pretty tough.”
Watch the full Bellator 282 media day appearance from Brennan Ward above. The event takes place this Friday, June 24, 2022 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.