A change of team to reinvigorate a career may have become something of a cliché over the past couple of years, but that’s because it works.
Since joining up with the famed Tristar Gym, Ford feels he’s become the fighter he’s always wanted to be and it’s been paying off big dividends.
“I’ve been able to get that skillset and not just rely on my athletic ability and strength,” Ford told MMAWeekly.com. “Just being able to work with all these high-level athletes has shown when I step into the cage.
“My game has grown by leaps and bounds. I’ve been coming out here for four years and looking back I can see the difference between when I wasn’t here to now.”
While Ford has been fighting for around eight years and has won multiple titles in Canada, he has yet to experience a big breakthrough on the international stage. With an upcoming bout against former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields, Ford feels he can finally have that signature moment that will give him more exposure.
“I’m about feeding my family and making sure there’s a roof over their heads, but of course, this fight is going to get a lot of notoriety with me fighting Jake Shields – a Top 10 contender who has fought and beaten a who’s who,” said Ford.
“I’m ready for that and I believe I’ve been ready for that these past few fights, and I’m getting my chance now.”
When Ford (22-4) faces Shields (29-7-1, 1NC) at WSOF 14 on Oct. 11 in Edmonton, he knows he can’t be forced into playing to his opponent’s strengths, but keep true to what he does best to get the win.
“I asked for this fight when I saw that Jake had signed with WSOF,” said Ford. “Pretty much I’ve got to stick to my game plan and do what I do.
“I know what Jake’s going to do. He’s got that style that can throw a lot of guys off and make them work to his game. I’ve got to stay focused and be on my game, and if I do that, at the end of the night my hand is going to be raised.”
Even though he’s accomplished a lot over the last several years, now could finally be the time for Ford to make his mark on the international stage, and he knows it.
“(A win over Shields) can solidify me in the Top 10 rankings where I believe I belong,” said Ford. “It can open up more doors and can put me in that mainstream spotlight. I can get a lot of notoriety from fans all over the world.”