For the 27-year-old Pennsylvania native Ed Ruth, his desire in life was to be a longstanding professional wrestler. However, for Ruth, it’s worth pointing out, his wrestling career almost ended before it ever really got started.
Ruth was driven and determined to never give up because of an influential person in his life, Thanayi Ruth.
“My mom wouldn’t let me stop,” Ruth said in an interview with MMAFighting.com. He added, “My first three years wrestling I hated it. But my momma told me I was good at it and I made a commitment and I have to see it through.”
Mothers know best. If Ruth walked away from chasing his dream, the world would have definitely been deprived of a three-time NCAA wrestling champion. He also would have missed his golden opportunity of becoming a future mixed martial arts star.
Ed “Easy” Ruth
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Full Name: Edward Lee Ruth
Birthdate: October 21, 1990
Birth Place: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
School: Pennsylvania State University
As a child, Ruth definitely had his work cut out for him. No wonder we see how Ruth had, and still has, a lifelong passion for wrestling, in which he still excels in. But the most ironic thing is that Ruth did not enjoy wrestling. Really?
So how did he get to where he is now?
If it wasn’t for his mother, and Kenny Courts, who was the head coach of Central Dauphin’s elementary wrestling program, staying on top of Ruth, he would have never walked onto the mat.
As the years flew by, he entered Susquehanna Township High School, where he had a successful career and saw some of his best success as a wrestler. He was a two-time Pennsylvania state place winner, finishing fourth and fifth for the high school. In addition, he went onto win the high school Junior National Championship in 2008. Then, of course, Ruth transferred to powerhouse prep program Blair Academy in New Jersey for his senior year.
Unlike his younger brother, Edmond, Ruth never won a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) title. That is not to say that he didn’t already have an incredible wrestling resume already before heading off to the next phase of his life at Penn State.
Ruth took his next wrestling to the next level at Penn State University. In his first year, Ruth won the Big Ten Championship and placed third at the NCAA National Tournament despite suffering an injury in the quarterfinals. But better than that, he dominated his opponents to win the Gorriaran Award for most falls in the least amount of time.
As a redshirt sophomore returning back to the mat, one thing was certain: He was unstoppable at 174 Ibs. Once again, he captured yet another Big Ten Championship and his first-ever NCAA National Title ending the season undefeated at (31-0). Then — in his junior year — he moved up to 184 Ibs. He also continued his dominance.
But that’s not all. Ruth’s major feats kept on coming. He would go on to win his third Big Ten Championship and second NCAA National Championship downing defending NCAA Champion and fellow PA wrestler Steve Bosak of Cornell University in the semifinals. With that being said, after graduating from Penn State, Ruth was the dual anchor in helping lead his squad to its fourth straight NCAA National Team Championship.
Ruth ended his Nittany Lion career with a (140-3) record becoming Penn State’s first-ever three-time National Champion and never falling to a Big Ten opponent.
All-Time Wrestling ‘Great’
Next thing you know, Ruth exploded out of the gate and became a member of the Team USA, where he was ranked No. 1 at 189 Ibs. Already in his first year on the National Team, he was named the U.S. World Team Trials champion and has placed third in both the Golden Grand Prix and U.S. Open.
Then, he made a big announcement to his fans. One of the most dynamic and decorated wrestlers was transitioning to mixed martial arts where he signed with Bellator MMA.
In November 2016, he made his professional MMA debut on the undercard of Bellator 163 against Dustin Collins-Miles, fighting in the middleweight division. He went onto win that fight via TKO in the first round.
Currently, Ruth is waiting and expected to make his welterweight debut against Andy Murad in Temecula, California. At the moment, Ruth has an undefeated (5-0) mixed martial arts record.