The story of pro mixed martial artist Ed West is a roller coaster of a tale. The story carries with it the peaks of IFL's request that West compete for them, and the valleys of returning to his home where few had the grit to fight him afterwards.
Ed West is an elite 135-pound fighter out of the Tucson area. He has an impeccable reputation amongst his peers and also prospective opponents and the camps that advise them.
West competed in the IFL 20 pounds north of the natural more suitable weight for his frame of 135 pounds. In the IFL, West competed with some solid 155 pound fighters.
The opportunity to compete for a promotion like the IFL was too lucrative for West to pass up, even with the inherent disadvantage he would suffer fighting guys who were much more comfortable at that particular weight.
Regardless of the outcomes, or the risks involved West waged his war under the IFL banner going 0-3 against familiar names like Chris Horodecki. The tally of losses does not reflect West's very game and competitive performance against guys who naturally outweighed him.
None of the three larger fighters could finish West as he took them all to decision, and he did so in impressive fashion. Those performances were not lost on his local fan base or the local competitors that West would return home to challenge at his more natural weight.
When West, a Rage In The Cage regular returned home and hoped to fight again all he found was tumbleweeds blowing and shutters rattling in an empty ghost town that wanted no part of him.
It was as if Billy The Kid had rode into town with a score to settle, no one was to be found, not a challenger, not a peep.
He has had his battles here and there, but not with the frequency he might prefer.
Most recently West was seen at Rage In The Cage 141 rocking a sign around his neck that said "will fight for food." Come on people, is their not one fighter or organization that can accommodate this guy?
His talent level is well known amongst fighters and gyms. Esteemed and highly respected corner man and trainer Rocco DePalo once stated he personally has seen Ed West hold his own with fighters George Roop and current WEC Champ Dominick Cruz in sparring sessions.
Point is, West has held his own with top shelf fighters who happen to be dear friends and at times in his career training partners.
The guy is elite, so it's understandable at times why local fighters want no part of him, but why hasn't the WEC picked him up or Bellator? He's got the tools.
While his day may come with those organizations, West is left to rely on local talent to stay in fighting shape and test that which he strives so hard to attain.
Not finding fights has not been his only obstacle in the fight game.
Injuries snuck their way into West's career and presented another obstacle for the young fighter. West at times has found himself sidelined for much longer than he might have liked.
After rehabilitating and getting back into fighting shape West was elated to hear that Rage In The Cage had found a fight for him, and it would be for a local title. As had happened many times before, the offer fell through for unforeseen circumstances.
West was equally let down by the same extreme of which he was flying high when he heard the news. So as explained before the roller coaster ride that is Ed West's MMA career is not without its twists and turns.
Just when it seems like the lowest point is reached though, the Ed West fan club was elated to hear shortly after the disappointing news of a fight falling through that a young fighter by the name of Tyler Bialecki was game enough to try his hand against the IFL veteran West.
Desert Rage was looking for competitors for their upcoming event, Desert Rage 7, and their previous experience with the elite Ed West had them wanting to showcase him for their fans once again.
That must have had something to do with West's exciting style that showed him stop his opponent in the first round by guillotine choke the first time he fought for them.
But once again, it's not getting West to show up for a fight that is the hard part, it is finding someone who is willing to test their skills and heart against the MMA standout. Bialecki stepped up to the plate and now the two are set to do battle for a Desert Rage title.
This will mark West's first time in a cage since November and hopefully the performance he puts on will catch the eye of a promotion that might carry the type of elite talent that won't tuck tail and run from the local legend.
Hopefully, someone in a position to make a proposition will catch wind of this local fighter's performance and put him where he belongs.
For those of you who missed it, this fighter belongs at the top, and hopefully once his roller coaster reaches that pinnacle, it never comes back down.