LOS ANGELES – A year into his comeback after a layoff of four and a half years, Brennan Ward has taken another big step.
The Connecticut-based welterweight no longer will balance fighting with a day job. Ahead of a fight against his most accomplished opponent since 2017, Ward is a full-time fighter.
“I made the decision that I was going to take time away from my job,” Ward told MMA Junkie at Thursday’s Bellator 290 media day. “It was hard for me to make that decision. I had that level of comfortability working in the union. We make good money and I provide a good living for my family. Do I want to just fight middle-of-the-road guys at Mohegan Sun once or twice a year for the next couple years, or do I want to try to make a title run?
“I said, ‘I don’t want to look back at myself when I’m 50 years old and say, “Man, you were still in your physical prime and you just didn’t go for it.”‘ I don’t ever want that. I don’t want to have any of those regrets, so I’m giving this everything I’ve got. I’m fully committed to this. … If I get the belt, I get the belt. If I don’t, I don’t. But I can lay my head down and night and say I went for it. I went for it.”
Saturday, Ward (16-6 MMA, 11-6 BMMA) has one of the biggest opportunities of his career when he opens up the Bellator 290 main card against Sabah Homasi (17-10 MMA, 6-4 BMMA). Their fight will air live on CBS in the promotion’s debut on the network powerhouse.
Ward said the chance to fight Homasi has him revved up a lot more than he was in his first two Bellator fights in his comeback: TKOs of Brandon Bell and Kassius Kayne.
“I’m excited for this,” he said. “I was out for years, and I fought some guys not in the rankings (when I came back). And that’s well and great, but it’s tough to get excited for those kind of fights. No one really knows who they are. It’s almost a lose-lose situation.
“… This fight, when the whole MMA scene wants to see this fight, I can get amped up for that. I’ve got respect for him. I know he’s got respect for me. … We’re some dangerous dudes, and some dangerous sh*t is going to happen out there – and it’s probably not going to leave the first round, honestly.”
Check out Ward’s full interview above.
Bellator 290 takes place Saturday at Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The main card airs on CBS following prelims on MMA Junkie.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 290.