Ed Ruth wants to stand and bang with Kiichi Kunimoto at Bellator 224

Overall when it comes to his 2018, welterweight Ed Ruth feels like the year turned out mostly positive for him.

Though he suffered his first career loss in his last bout of the year to Neiman Gracie at Bellator 213 in December, Ruth managed to pick up back-to-back wins to kick off the year.

“I can’t really complain,” Ruth told MMAWeekly.com. “Last year went pretty well for me. I was able to rack up two wins. I had one loss. But other than that I feel like it was a good year. I had chances and opportunities to show where I’ve grown and hopefully people saw it.”

Ruth admits mistakes were made in his loss to Gracie, and he’s working hard to try to ensure such issues don’t plague him in the future.

“(I’m) just learning to be a more patient fighter and be smarter when I’m there in the cage; just learning to stick to a game plan and strategize for my opponents a little bit more,” said Ruth.

“I’m working with a lot of different guys and getting a lot of different looks in the cage. As a fighter I feel like you can’t really focus on the fighters that you lose (to) or even the ones that you beat, you’ve just got to keep focusing on yourself and make yourself better.”

For his first bout of 2019, Ruth (6-1) will face Kiichi Kunimoto (20-7-2) in a Bellator 224 main card welterweight bout on Friday in Thackerville, Okla.

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“He’s a good grappler from what I’ve seen,” Ruth said of Kunimoto. “He has a lot of submission in his fights. I plan on going out there and show him how good my stand-up is. We can try to wrestle. We can try to take it down to the mat, but it will not be good for him.”

For Ruth the next step is as much a mystery to him as it is to anyone else. One thing he is for sure of though is that he wants to close out 2019 with as much activity as he’s capable of having.

“I go one fight at a time,” said Ruth. “I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

“I want to fight as many times as possible. I tell them any time they have a fight to throw me in there, I’m always ready.”