Ruth Gets Nod in Bellator Debut

*Written on location- Kansas Star Arena, Mulvane, KS

After starting her MMA career in 2012 as just another person looking to stay in shape, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville alumnus and former softball player, Robertsville, MO native, and now 6-1 fight veteran Ruthless Rebecca Ruth made her debut for Bellator at Bellator 150 as a 37-year-old mother of two.

Ruth went 5-0 as a professional in St. Louis’ Shamrock FC with all of her wins coming by way of TKO due to strikes (with three victories being in the first round) after a rocky start at 0-1 as an amatuer , being on the losing end of a TKO herself.

This was the first time that Ruth was able to fully commit to a training camp without working a more traditional occupation shall we say?

"I am definitely looking at this as a life changer, Ruth said before the bout. Bellator said they are going to crown a 125-pound champion in 2016 and I’m ready to show that I am in the running for that title. My weight is on par, training is on schedule, and I feel strong and hungry." Ruth may have been a late breeder in MMA, but was no stranger to single disciplines of combat as a kickboxer since age 28 (9-0 as an amatuer) and later a 2011 St. Louis Golden Glove boxing champion. After capturing the Shamrock FC Flyweight (125 lbs.) gold, a big show came knocking–Bellator.

With her family at cageside, Ruth and Ovchynnikova begin to exchange. Ruth has a cut open early from hooks but shrugs it off. They briefly edge to toward the fence, but then Ruth gets ragdolled to the ground.

Ruth takes over, sweeping her opponent out of head-and-arm position. They grapple and the Ukrainian ends up on her knees where she is greeted with one from Ruth to the midsection. They make their way to their feet but still have a symbiotic relationship until Ruth voluntarily separates to throw a stiff right.

A failed kick attempt leads to a shaky start of the second for Ruth as she leaves herself open for another right. Ovchynnikova is starting to build up a head of steam but is countered on a head-and arm throw and loses the dominant position again, however briefly.

Ruth goes southpaw on the next exchange and lands a straight. A right hook is money for Ruth and Ovchynnikova is dropped.She tries to go back to her original attack with another throw but finds no fruit for her labor, but does manage to sock Ruth, further opening the wound from the first.

Ruth stalks forward, a wild-eyed Gremlin with her blonde hair coming undone, a jungle woman who’s spotted her dinner for the evening.

BAM! Ovchynnikova’s nose bears the brunt of the impact of a textbook overhand right. Forward momentum from an unsuccessful spinning backfist by Ovchynnikova works in Ruth’s favor as they finish out the round on the canvas with Ovchynnikova almost the victim of an armbar.

Ruth, who is no stranger to KO victories as mentioned above, seems to be tiring heading into the third and decides to work for cumulative body shots as the uneventful backpedaling of the defensive Ovchynnikova continues. A shot zings by Ruth’s head as she shoots in and scores with a takedown.

Another throw from Ovchynnikova is stuffed as she tried to work her way back up. She makes it to a standing position but is forced down almost immediately with Ruth once again gripping around her torso, Although any danger of a submission on the ground is avoided, this throwdown belongs to Ruth after one final knee strike brings the contest to a close.

Rebecca Ruth def. Lena Ovchynnikova via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

*Additional source: Brett Auten, Editor-in-Chief of