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Ed Ruth vs. Kiichi Kunimoto, Kiefer Crosbie vs. Jonathan Gary added to Bellator 224

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bellator 224 will see promotional prospects Ed Ruth and Kiefer Crosbie return to action in separate bouts on July 12 in Thackerville, Okla., as Ruth looks to bounce back from his first professional loss to welterweight title challenger Neiman Gracie.

Ruth will look to restore winning momentum when he faces Kiichi Kunimoto, a fight that was first reported by the Score. Crosbie will face his most experienced opponent to date when he clashes with Jonathan Gary in a 165-pound catchweight bout, as initially reported by MMA Junkie. Bellator subsequently confirmed both fights to MMAFighting.

Ruth (6-1-0) was submitted in the fourth round of his welterweight quarterfinal meeting with Gracie, tasting defeat for the first time in his three-year career after a six-fight winning run with Bellator.

Kunimoto (20-7-2) has compiled a two-fight win streak since parting ways with the UFC following his loss to Zak Ottow. He scored a decision win over Satoru Kitaoka at the RIZIN World Grand Prix before submitting Ryuichiro Sumimura in the first round of their RIZIN 12 clash.

Crosbie (6-0-0) is one of the most talked about up-and-comers from Ireland’s SBG gym. He has scored two wins in as many outing under the Bellator banner. He followed up a debut win over Orlando D’Ambrosio with a first-round submission win in his hometown against Daniel Olejniczak.

Gary (13-11-2) will look to turnaround a three-fight skid when he faces “Big Daddy”. He has contested four bouts under the Bellator banner to date, taking two wins and two losses. He took victory in his last promotional outing, scoring a decision win over William Florentino at Bellator 181.