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Ruth to make welterweight debut at Bellator 201

Get ready to see "less" of Ed Ruth ... as he has just signed for his next fight at a new lower weight.

The three-time NCAA wrestling champ for Penn State -- who won his titles at (weight classes) -- will drop down to welterweight for Bellator 201 later this month in his first official bout at 170 pounds, according to multiple reports from MMA websites and confirmed by Bellator MMA.

Ruth with face Andy Murad at Bellator 201 at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif. on Friday, June 29.

Here's what Ed Ruth posted on his Facebook page Tuesday:

"June 29th! Put the dates in your calendars! My debut fight at 170lbs. Watch me begin my welterweight run for the belt!!! @bellatormma @dethrone @dethronefresno @team_unbreakable @oakgrovetechnologies @lactigo @zinkinsportsmanagement @blackmplivingwater"

Ruth brings a 5-0 overall record -- and 5-0 in Bellator -- to this match. Of the wins, three are by TKO and one by KO. Only one match -- his most recent -- went the full three rounds to result in a unanimous decision.

Murad is a long-time veteran of the sport, launching his pro MMA career 15 years ago. The former California high school wrestler is 15-2 in his MMA career overall, and 2-2 in Bellator matches. Murad -- known as "the Tooth Fairy" -- is on an eight-bout win streak going back to the summer of 2014.

To provide some perspective on Ed Ruth's new weight class ... as a Penn State wrestler, he was a four-time NCAA All-American (2011-14), with one NCAA title at 174 pounds (2012) and two national crowns at 184 (2013, 2014).

As MMAjunkie.com pointed out, the 27-year-old Ruth started his pro mixed martial arts career at 195 pounds back in November 2016. In more recent bouts, he has fought at middleweight (185 pounds). In April, Ruth was slated to fight at welterweight (170 pounds) at Bellator 196. However, his original opponent pulled out on short notice, and the former Nittany Lion mat champ defeated replacement opponent Ion Pascu in a catchweight bout.

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