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Ed Ruth signs with Bellator MMA

Three-time NCAA wrestling champion and 2016 Olympic hopeful Ed Ruth has signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA, according to promotion officials.

Ruth, 25, is focused on representing the U.S. in the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro as a freestyle wrestler, but has previously revealed an interest in mixed martial arts.

On Monday, Ruth confirmed his signing with Bellator in a released statement.

"I've known for a long time now that after I get Olympic gold around my neck, I was going to get some MMA gold for my waist," Ruth stated.

Ruth is the only three-time NCAA champion to ever come out of Penn State. He finished his collegiate career with an overall record of 136-3.

He is ranked No. 1 at 86 kilograms, which is approximately 189 pounds.

The wrestling phenom has trained in MMA alongside former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"I've been talking with all the major organizations and at the end of the day I really believe in what [president] Scott Coker is doing with Bellator," Ruth said. "They're signing the top talent, putting on exciting fights and letting me secure my own sponsors.

"It will be a little while until I step into the cage for the first time -- but when I do, everyone they put in front of me is in for a world of hurt."

Ruth is the second Olympic hopeful that Bellator has signed in the last six months. In November, the promotion announced it had signed 18-year-old wrestling phenom Aaron Pico to a multi-fight contract.