Ed Ruth returns at Bellator 168 on short notice


Former collegiate wrestling star Ed Ruth returns to the Bellator cage on less-than a week’s notice.

Mixed martial arts prospect Ed Ruth isn’t waiting long before stepping back into the Bellator cage. Thirty-six days after his professional MMA debut, Ruth is returning to face Emanuele Palombi at Bellator 168 on less than a week’s notice.

Ruth’s official MMA debut came back in November and was a quick night of work. At Bellator 163, he stopped Dustin Collins-Miles in the first round of their middleweight bout via TKO. The news was announced Wednesday when Palombi’s original opponent was forced off of the card. Bellator announced the addition to the card via official press release.

While a member of the Penn State wrestling team, Ruth was a three-time national champion from 2012-2014 and a four-time All-American. His abilities on the wrestling mat have transitioned smoothly over to mixed martial arts, at least one fight into his career.

Palombi comes into the event with a 5-2 professional record dating back to 2015. This will be his promotional debut with Bellator.

Ruth’s transition to MMA was announced in 2015 after taking the time to practice with some other members of the MMA industry. When he signed with Bellator in 2015, his focus at the time was competing for the Summer Olympics, which did not come to fruition. Since then, he’s dedicated his time to training with current Bellator fighters Josh Koscheck and Chris Honeycutt.

Bellator 168 is set for Saturday, December 10 from the Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy. The main event of the card features two former UFC competitors, Joey Beltran and Alessio Sakara. This card was originally supposed to be headlined with a bout between Rafael Carvalho and Melvin Manhoef, but Carvalho suffered an injury, forcing the cancellation of the rematch. The event also features a number of kickboxing bouts on the card.