mixed martial arts news
Written by Hurtsbad MMA Senior Analyst Todd Jackson
It’s not every fighter that is welcome back into a Bellator tournament for three straight seasons without winning a title somewhere along the way. Well not every fighter could possibly hope to be Ed “Wild” West.
Having navigated an impressive career as a young fighter to now being a young veteran West is as sure of himself as any fighter roaming the sport of MMA. His exploits saw him take center stage years ago for the IFL as a lightweight under legend Don Frye and now many years later he has become a perennial staple in the Bellator bantamweight tournament.
Now surrounded by his trusted brothers in arms at Apex Mixed Martial West has hit his stride and looks forward to being the man to beat in the season six Bellator bantamweight tournament. It is a position he has found himself in across two prior tournaments where West fell short of his aspirations to become a champion. While that may be true he has not even come close to being discouraged and is primed and ready to throw his name in the hat yet again.
As he has been for Bellator West has been a staple at Hurtsbad MMA as well. He recently touched base with us to talk about his latest quest to become a Bellator tournament winner. He first told us about his health and preparation for leading into his quarter final bout with the highly touted Marcos Galvao.
Wild West told Hurtsbad, “I feel really good. My weight is good, my nutrition is good, I have zero injuries, I’m in really good shape and ready to rock and roll.”
In the past West has preferred to match up with the toughest opponent possible in the first leg of the tournament. When asked if he felt this was the case in season six West had this to say. “I do and I have said that before. I don’t know why but it always feels like I get the tough guys.”
West recalled, “The first fight I had in Bellator was against Brian Goldsby who was coming off a win over Jeff Curran. My other tournament opener was against Luis Nogueira who I think was 11-1 at the time and a very highly touted prospect. Now I’ve got Marcos Galvao.”
He opened up on his thoughts about the Marcos Galvao that is not reflected in a record many may think is not representative of how talented he actually is. “If you’re being really honest Galvao has won all his fights in Bellator. People who really know, who watched the fight with Alexis Villa, know that he beat Alexis Villa. I feel the same way about Joe Warren. I am taking Marcos Galvao very seriously. I am training very hard for him and I know what he is capable of and I am going to go beat him up.”
West is not the type to psyche himself out for opponents. He holds no ill will and actually harbors a great deal of respect for many of his opponents both past and present. He told Hurtsbad, “I very much like Marcos. He is a supercool guy. I have spoken with him on a few occasions personally. He is very nice, very cordial, and professional. As a fighter he is very durable, well rounded, and his ground is very deceptive because if you look at his record he never submits anybody. He’s not a finisher at all; I think he has only finished one of his fights. But make no mistake, an educated eye will watch him fight and tell you he is very good on the ground, very good.”
The always confident West added, “Having said that I don’t think he is better than me. I think I’m every bit as good as he is on the ground and have won over half of my fights by submission so if it goes to the ground I’m more than comfortable and confident that I can hang with him. Standing up I think I will totally outclass him. I have so many more weapons than he does on the feet. I’m taller, rangier, and faster. I think I can beat Marcos up anywhere to tell you the truth.”
On the same night West will face Galvao another bout will be headlining the card between the only two men to ever defeat him inside the Bellator cage. Current Bellator bantamweight champion Zack Makovsky will face season five tournament champion Eduardo Dantas. While no consolation West reflected on their success after having defeated him.
“In a way if reflects well on me that I am, and always have been, the guy to beat in every Bellator tournament.” West explained. “The guys who have got the win over me have been the ones to go on and win, be successful, and they’re the top two bantamweights in Bellator now. So in a way it does make me feel proud to see them in that position.”
He added, “Not only that but I dig both of those guys. Both Eduardo Dantas and Zack Makovsky are two of the nicest, most classy dudes that you will ever come across in the sport. So it does make me feel happy in a small sense but then there’s that part of me that can’t wait for me to get my hands on them again.”
Again this is his third run in a Bellator tournament which speaks volumes about how highly respected both West’s past performances and further potential is among the brass in one of the world’s top organizations.
West stated, “I hope my relationship with Bellator is good. I think they know I am the guy to beat, they know I’m a good fighter, and they know that if you’re channel surfing and you come across an Ed West fight you’re not going to be channel surfing anymore. I do some cool stuff in there. I’m not a lay-n-prayer, I’m very dynamic. I throw head kicks, kamikaze style submissions, I don’t try to be entertaining but it is something that happens. I think I have a style that people enjoy watching and it’s a style that not many other fighters have. Bjorn Rebney has always told me that he like watching me fight.”
Both Rebney and fight fans know West shows up to bring it and that has led to his tenure in the division and appreciation among fight fans.
“People know what to expect from Ed West. I think consistency is something that they undervalue in this sport. That is something that I really bring to the table. I train really hard for every single fight, I don’t take anybody lightly even if I know I’m going to beat them up, and I bring that to the fight every time, I show up.” He explained.
Earlier we mentioned his trusted brothers in arms at Apex MMA. Two of those men have been by his side for many battles across his career.
West talked about his most trusted and respected associates both in the gym and in his corner when the time comes to unleash the fireball. “George Roop will be in my corner like he always is. He is one of my very best friends. We always corner each other. I corner him for all his UFC fights and he corners me in Bellator. We know each other very well. We know what we’re capable of, and what weapons we can throw. There is no one I would rather have in my corner. Other guys can have Greg Jackson it doesn’t matter. I’ve got George Roop and Joey Rivera, those are my boys, my dream team, they have always worked real well for me and those are the guys I want in my corner.”
Looking forward to the first round of the tournament West had this to say in closing the interview out. “I think most people have counted me out. I didn’t win the first tournament, I didn’t win the second one, and there are some new names in this tournament like Travis Marx and Hiroshi Nakamura. So I think people are kind of looking past me right now. But you know what, I lost those other ones by the skin of my teeth and I’m cool to just fly under the radar this time and do well in this tournament like I always do. This is the one I’m going to win. After I beat up Marcos Galvao on Friday night people are going to say ‘Whoa, Ed West is still around, we better keep an eye on him’.”
Fight fans you damn well better keep an eye on Ed West. His fights are always dynamic and entertaining to say the least. If you’re a Bellator bantamweight you too may want to keep one eye on this guy. He’s now a Bellator veteran and that didn’t happen on accident. The time may soon come when you’re looking across the cage and have to answer the questions that often accompany this man to the center of the cage.