Ed Ruth already knew he was coming home. Now he knows who he’ll be giving a rude welcome to.
The three-time NCAA wrestling champion meets Chris Dempsey in a middleweight bout at Bellator 186, which takes place on Nov. 3 at the Bryce Jordan Center of Penn State University, Ruth’s alma mater. Bellator officials confirmed the bout Wednesday after it was first reported by BluegrassMMA.
Following his successful collegiate career, Ruth debuted with Bellator in November 2016, defeating Dustin Collins-Miles by first-round TKO. He also won his next two fights via strikes to improve to 3-0 as a professional fighter.
Dempsey represents a significant step up in competition for the 26-year-old Ruth. Also a native of Pennsylvania, Dempsey sports an 11-5 record including four appearances in the UFC. He won just one of those fights, a split decision nod over The Ultimate Fighter 19 champion Eddie Gordon.
Bellator 186 will be headlined by a light heavyweight title bout between defending champion Ryan Bader (23-5) and Linton “The Swarm” Vassell (18-5, 1 NC). In the co-main event, Ilima Macfarlane (6-0) and Emily Ducote (6-2) fight for the right to become the inaugural Bellator women’s flyweight champion.
Also featured on the card is Phil Davis (17-4, 1 NC), another Penn State great and a former Bellator titleholder. He meets undefeated promotional newcomer Leo Leite (10-0).