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The MMA middleweight did put on a little ground-and-pound clinic. But then he gave them a knockout for the ages.
Ruth (4-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA), a three-time NCAA champ for the Nittany Lions, used his fists to stop Dempsey (11-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) and up his current unbeaten streak to four at Bryce Jordan Center.
The end was a surprise even to Ruth. He extended his right hand, and suddenly the referee was putting a hand on his chest to stop the bout.
“I’m like what do I do now?” he Ruth told reporters after his Spike-televised fight.
Many a wrestler has made the transition to the cage, but Ruth’s credentials distinguish him as a prospect. He’s already drawn endorsements from many MMA veterans, including Nittany Lion turned light heavyweight standout Phil Davis, who picked up a decision win on Bellator’s 186 main card.
The only question now is how far he can go.
“For me being the wrestler, to knock someone out on their feet, just completely digress into boxing, that’s a big moment for me,” Ruth said. “That’s like a game-changer.
“It’s like, ‘OK, not only am I dangerous with my wrestling, I can also utilize my striking and my boxing.’ I just feel like the sky’s the limit.”
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