Bellator 224 results: Ed Ruth pounds out Kiichi Kunimoto in second
THACKERVILLE, Okla. – Ed Ruth had to take a little punishment along the way, but bounced back from his first career loss with a TKO win.
Ruth (7-1 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) took out Kiichi Kunimoto (20-8-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), who was making his Bellator debut, with a second-round TKO. The finish came at the 3:49 mark of the middle frame.
Ruth this past December suffered his first career loss in the Bellator welterweight grand prix to eventual tournament runner-up Neiman Gracie.
The welterweight fight opened up the Bellator 224 main card at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla. The main card aired on Paramount and streamed on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.
Ruth opened with a low kick, then backed away from a Kunimoto combo. A couple more kicks followed, but Kunimoto tried some of his own. When Kunimoto tried to get inside, Ruth winged a right hand that just missed. About 75 seconds in, Kunimoto moved inside and tied things up. Midway through, the fight spilled to the canvas with Ruth on top, but it soon went back to the feet in a clinch with Kunimoto’s back to the fence.
With 75 seconds left in the round, Ruth landed a solid right hand that helped drop Kunimoto to the canvas. Not long after, Ruth was on him on the mat looking for a ground-and-pound opening. But Kunimoto kept him tied up with a triangle choke attempt for the bulk of the remainder of the frame.
Early in the second, both fighters tried to slug away. And both had near-misses for finishes. Kunimoto shot for a takedown a minute in, but Roth stayed upright. A minute later, Ruth nearly connected with a heavy right. Then he landed a trio of punches that popped Kunimoto’s head back. Ruth landed a heavy body kick with 2:15 left that echoed through the venue, but Kunimoto powered through it.
With 90 seconds left, Ruth finally knocked Kunimoto to the canvas and quickly pounced with a barrage of punches to get the finish.
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