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Adam Ward: ‘I Belong in the UFC’

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XFO 54 Adam Wardby Matt Lo Cascio

Adam Ward is happy to be in the main event of XFO 54 at the UIC Pavilion on Saturday, where he’ll fight veteran Rey Trujillo. Fighting in front of your hometown fans and headlining a show is great, but Ward is focused on one goal.

“I belong in the UFC. And every win gets me that much closer to my destiny. Nothing will stop me.”

With four straight wins, Ward looks like a fighter that can’t be stopped. He’s hoping a win over Trujillo, who has fought former UFC fighters Leonard Garcia and Daniel Pineda, will be enough to get him his big shot. “I’m hoping for a call from the UFC with this win, but I will take another fight to keep the streak going,” Ward told Chicago’s MMA.

Ward not only takes the fight wherever it goes, he goes wherever the fight is. He most recently fought at HFC 20, beating long-time local fighter Jared McMahan. Prior to that he fought twice in Finland. The last time he fought in Chicago was last September at TFC, where he needed just :42 to choke out Pedro Velasco.

Ward wants to be in the UFC, but in the meantime he follows a simple pattern: take fights and win fights. “Currently, I’m just trying to get by day by day and make a dollar here and there. I go where the money is.”

Ward sounds pretty organized for a guy known as “A.D.D.,” a unique nickname in a sea of Pitbulls and Phenoms. He got the nickname when he was fighting as an amateur here in Chicago. “Funny story. As I was walking out to the ring they announced me as A.D.D. I looked back at my roommate and he was laughing his ass off. I shrugged it off and went to have a 10-8 first round, then choked the guy out with a standing rear naked in the second round. My roommate said that if you have a conversation with me, the A.D.D. factor is obvious, but I’m never more focused than when I’m in the ring. The name just stuck.”

Fighting in a cage just stuck, too. Ward took his first fight without any preparation at all. “I did my first MMA fight with no training or background. To be honest, I think the promoter tried to use me as a piece of meat for my opponent. But surprisingly, I chased him around the first round, busted his nose and cut his eye, but got taken down and arm-triangled with ten seconds left in the first round. After that, the promoter told me he wanted me to try out a real gym and suggested Gilbert Grappling, who was dominant in the local circuit. So I went in there and tried it out. The rest is history.”

That was back in 2008. Ward got to training and took his second fight about ten months later at XFO 27. This time he was the one tapping his opponent, winning by rear naked choke just over a minute into the fight.

Now in 2015, Ward is fighting in the main event right in his hometown. It’s been a long journey to get where he is and he remains determined to get to the UFC. “I will not fail.”

See Adam “A.D.D.” Ward, Daniel “The Predator” James and many of the best local pro fighters at XFO 54, Saturday night at the UIC Pavilion. For tickets, visit bit.ly/xfo-54.

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About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is a former TV producer who turned to new media in 2005, and he is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is also the play-by-play announcer for the XFO. His work has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided and more.

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