If eyes are windows to the soul, podcasts are portals to perspective. Prior to the start of a newly minted year, Brennan “The Irish Bad Boy” Ward (12-3) appeared as a guest on The MMA Report (link here), hosted by Jason Floyd, to discuss his upcoming contest at Rizin Fighting World Grand Prix in Tokyo, Japan, the promotion’s inaugural, two-day event, culminating on New Year’s Eve with the return of Fedor Emelianenko. Instead of dropping the customary bedazzled ball of lights, Ward will be looking to turn the lights out on his opponent, Ken Hasegawa (10-0-1), by dropping balled up fists for the knockout or levels for takedowns.
Riding a three fight win-streak, all first round finishes, roadmaps clearly point Ward toward the on-deck circle to square off against Bellator MMA’s current welterweight title-holder, Andrey Koreshkov (18-1); therefore, some may argue a case against Ward’s acceptance, as a loaner from Bellator, of a catchweight bout (178 pounds) at Rizin. Jason Floyd, unintentionally, derailed Ward from his senses when he presented this train of thought. Ward responded with some questions of his own,
“I would love to know what I’m risking. What am I risking? What do they say I’m risking? A title shot? Who cares! Seriously. Who cares?”
Touching a nerve, the interview with Ward quickly transformed into a soapbox atop a skyscraper, allowing Ward to count down the reasons the situation left little for him to mull over:
“First of all, I’m not going to lose, you know what I mean. And second of all, if I did, I get to go to Japan, have fun with my boys, stay with my fuckin’ best friends and all the fuckin’ homies I love over in Japan, have a blast, fight, [and] go out for New Year’s.”
At twenty-seven years of age and a professional since 2008, Ward has been around the game long enough to know what happens if you shelve yourself, awaiting only the prime opportunity,
“What? I’m supposed to sit around in the states and wait around until April or May to fight for a title, sitting here all anxious like,” transforming into a sniveling contender who doesn’t deserve a chance at a championship to begin with Ward continued, “’Ah man, Am I gonna get to fight for the next title?’”
Tapping into “The Irish Bad Boy,” a brash and aggressive character fans have come to appreciate in the cage, the sound waves traveling through the speakers paired with his in-cage persona,
“I mean, that’s fucking stupid man. That’s the mentality that’s killing our sport. There’s no fun in it anymore. It’s bullshit.”
If the conversation wasn’t waved off at this point, the referee called a halt to the action when Ward stamped his closing thoughts on the matter,
“I’m making the right decision. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fucking idiot.”
Ward has no intention of ending 2015 and ringing in 2016 wearing a dunce cap, and by sitting on a stool in his corner in the middle of Saitama Super Arena at Rizin, he believes himself to be on MMA’s honor roll.
Follow Brennan Ward at: