Todd "Jiu Jiu" Bevan has always relished the role of being the underdog.
The Bridgeport native, who recently moved to Martins Ferry with his parents and brother, will be cast in that role once again this coming Saturday night when he resumes his mixed martial arts career.
Bevan, who will be fighting for the first time since June 2, will meet 29-year-old Rocky "The Number" Edwards in OFC 15: Super Brawl 2 at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard. Edwards hails from the Columbus area and trains at the nearby Ruff House Gym.
"I'm used to that," the 23-year-old Bevan said of being the underdog. "I've heard it my entire amateur career. It's a lot of fun.
The two are paired in a 'catch-weight' 160-pound bout that will serve as the main event. It is scheduled for three, 5-minute rounds.
"Absolutely," Bevan said when asked if he was ready to step back into the cage. "I've been training really hard and I'm excited to finally be getting back in the cage."
After a highly successful amateur career and a unanimous professional debut victory over Rhett Northcraft in Hard Knocks Fight Night 31 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, the Bridgeport High School graduate suffered a knee injury while working out that put him on the shelf.
"My knee is 100 percent," he stressed. "I had a very good group of guys that helped me rehab, and I'm ready to go."
While Bevan has kind of flown under the radar so to speak, Edwards (2-1 pro, 7-0 amateur) has been featured in the Bellator cage and was an Ohio amateur standout. He once held an OFC title belt.
"He is really tough in his Jujitsu," Bevan acknowledged. "He is probably the best Jujitsu fighter I've ever fought."
As far as Edwards' style goes, Bevan said, "It seems he likes to be taken down to the mat so that he can use his Jujitsu skills. He's not much of a striker, so I think I'll try to keep him standing up and make my boxing coach happy."
Edwards is coming off a submission win in early January when he defeated John Myers during Caged Madness 22 with a rear naked choke hold at 4:50 of the first round.
His lone setback came to Robert Hannah IV by split decision in the Bellator Fighting Championships 78 at the Ervin J. Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University in Fairborn.
Win or lose, Bevan already has another fight scheduled for April 20 in Canonsburg, Pa., as part of the Pittsburgh Challenge Series 2. He is scheduled to meet Jake Anderson.
The doors open at 5:30 and the action begins at 7.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org