Kaneohe native Jered “Ty” Gwerder is headed to the Bellator MMA cage.
The 25 year old middleweight (4-0) signed a multi-fight deal with the mixed martial arts organization and is targeted ti make his Bellator debut before the end of the year a source close to the situation told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello on Tuesday.
“Man, it’s crazy. Honestly, I haven’t even wrapped my head around it yet. I made my pro debut a year ago, and I never would have thought that this soon, I would make it this far,” Gwerder told DeMello. “It’s humbling. It means the world to me because, nothing feels better than being able to put on for Hawaii.”
Training out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Nevada, Gwerder is a longtime training partner of current UFC middleweight Brad Tavares, and has quickly earned a reputation of being a knockout artists after starting his career with four consecutive victories all via TKO/KO.
“It wasn’t baby steps. I literally jumped mountains within a year, and I know I put in all that work, and my training partners like Brad (Tavares), those guys held me accountable and made sure I was putting in the work. It’s just crazy. I can’t even express to you how my feelings are. Yesterday I was just all high on life,” said Gwerder.
A standout at linebacker in 2011-12 at Damien, Gwerder played under head coach Eddie Klaneski and even wore Klaneski’s jersey number 21 in his playing days in Kalihi.
“One day at practice, Coach K turned to me and said, you know you’re wearing my number yeah?, I told him that they’re going to have to retire the jersey when I’m done,” Gwerder said laughing. “I loved my time there. I grew up in Kalihi and moved to Kane’ohe when I was nine, so playing there was special to me. I honestly always thought that’s where I would make a name for myself was football, even when I first moved to Las Vegas, but MMA has made me who I am today and I can’t be more grateful for that.”
Gwerder made his debut in October of 2018 under the SoCa Fights banner with a first-round knockout of Tyler Smith.
Following that fight it was three straight bouts in the LFA between February and September, with his most recent win coming via body kick against Mike Jones. The fight was called 2:22 into the opening round marking as the longest fight of his career.
It’s unclear when he will make his Bellator debut, although the organization will be making a return to Hawaii in December, making it very possible that the Hawaii native will make both his big-stage MMA debut in what could be his very first fight in his home state.