Hurtsbad Exclusive: Bellator's Ed West Discusses Bantamweight Tournament

Todd JacksonSenior Analyst IAugust 31, 2010

Photo of Ed West courtesy of Olivia Jackson &
Photo of Ed West courtesy of Olivia Jackson &

Ed West: "Will Fight For Food"

The roller coaster ride that has been the mixed martial arts career of Ed West is hitting a steep incline this week. West has competed for many various promotions both at the regional level and at the mainstream level.

His career has been overshadowed with circumstances that at times were out of his control and at other times just proved to be more than a young fighter could overcome.

Fighting in the IFL in particular was a bitter sweet symphony for West. While he held his own, he suffered three defeats in a weight class that truly is not suitable for his frame.

Coached under Don Frye, West found himself in an unenviable position of being a natural 135 pound competitor in the IFL’s 155 pound division with names like Chris Horodecki and Savant Young.

West may not have earned any victories in the IFL, but he did prove that even 20 pounds north of his natural weight he could hold his own with some of the best the IFL had to offer.

Now that he has moved beyond those trying days of his career West finds himself about to make his mark on the very impressive up and coming promotion Bellator Fighting Championships.

West is one of eight competitors in Bellator’s first ever Bantamweight tournament. West was kind enough to sit down with to discuss his involvement in the tournament, his first opponent, and seizing this second opportunity he has earned in this sport.

First Ed West discussed his feelings on being invited to participate for an opportunity to become the first ever Bellator BW Champion.

“I really feel honored that they chose me. Half the dudes that are in the tournament had to qualify and the other half didn't. I'm part of the half that hasn't fought in Bellator before. So I feel pretty privileged that they thought enough of me that I didn't have to fight in Bellator to qualify.”

When asked about the challenge as an athlete competing in a rapid fire tournament West had this to say.

“I think it depends on the fighter. I’ve had fights that have gone on three full rounds and I could have fought the next week. I’ve also had fights that went on for two minutes and I couldn't fight for a month. It kind of depends. As long as I get a good couple weeks, maybe a month between each fight I will be pretty happy with that.”

West went on to mention, “It’s difficult as an athlete to stay at such a level of preparedness all the time. I know I'm probably going to have to fight again in another month. I get home, I have one fast food meal that I'm dying for, then I have to get back on my diet and stay in shape and work to keep my peak up.”

Peaking for those who may not know is the optimum condition both mentally and physically for a fighter to attain leading into a fight.

Regardless of the question marks that will follow if he wins his first round match, West is confident in his abilities to carry him to the top.

“There’s no guarantee but I think I match up pretty good with all these guys. The truth of the matter is, my first opponent is Brian Goldsby. Despite his crappy looking record I really think he’s one of the better guys. I think he’s very athletic, good stand up, good wrestling, and I think hes one of the better guys in the tournament.”

West went on to say, “I was kind of hoping I would be matched up with some of the other guys first. Now that I’ve got Goldsby, I think I got one of the tougher dudes and I will just have to get him out of the way first. Probably the next guy I match with wont be as tough and I think I’ll match up better.”

It is West’s time as a LW that helps him maintain a level of confidence at 135 that many fighters may not posses. “There’s no telling, I really think I'm one of the best at 135. I think I rank up there with some of the best dudes out there. Even some of the 155 pounders that I fought didn't really put me in any danger, so I'm going into this with a lot of confidence. I don't think any of these 135 pounders can really hurt me.”

As for his skill set, West hopes fighters over look him and his talents.

“I can fight anywhere, I’ve got real good stand up that nobody knows about, and I’ve got real good ground that everybody knows about. I feel confident wherever the fight gets taken. If guys want to take me to the ground they are going to be in trouble. If they disrespect my stand up they are going to be in trouble. I spar with 155 pound monsters in the gym. They know my strengths and try to exploit my weaknesses and try to make me a better fighter.”

One of those partners is WEC stand out who is notorious for how scrappy, game, and effective his is.

“George Roop is one of my top training partners. I’ve been training with him a lot for this fight. He’s taller than Goldsby, and I think he’s a better striker. I’ve been doing a lot with Roop, going a lot of rounds. He has been using his long reach and I’ve bee working on getting around that, setting up shots and take downs.”

In closing West was sure to discuss his gratitude for the chance that Bellator is giving him. He knows full well what the potential here is and is looking to capitalize on all aspects.

“I'm just really grateful that Bellator has given me this opportunity. I know there are probably a hundred other dudes they could have given this opportunity to and they gave it to me. I already had an opportunity on a big stage and I blew it. I was feeling kind of down about that.”

In closing West stated, “I'm really thankful that they see the potential in me. I'm not going to disappoint them. I'm going to show them that they made the right choice putting me in there.”

For those familiar with the man known as Ed West they understand what he is about to bring to the table in the 135 pound division of mainstream MMA. For those that don't know, you better ask somebody or better yet tune in to Bellator this Thursday night and see for yourself.

Ed West is as real as it gets and is chomping at the bit to leave a lasting impression on the sport of MMA. The door has now been opened, the dice are about to be rolled, and West is looking to become a man who odds are shaped around. Don't bet against him doing just that.


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