Edwards ‘knows’ he’ll face MMA icons like Machida

Edwards represents both Jamaica, the country he was born in, and England when he fights.
Place: Wembley Arena, London date: Friday, May 13
applied area: It will be broadcast live on BBC iPlayer and on the BBC Sports website and app from 18:00 BST, the main card will also be broadcast live on BBC Three from 21:00.

What stands out most about Fabian Edwards is his confidence.

What he thinks is that it is not ‘if’ but ‘when’ that he will defeat mixed martial arts legend Lyoto Machida at the co-main event held at Bellator London on Friday.

This is a surprising move for the 29-year-old Edwards, considering Britain have suffered two defeats in the past three years and have had three more games canceled.

But there’s no hint of uncertainty when Edwards sits back in his chair and describes how it feels to face someone like Machida at the Wembley Arena.

“When it’s all over, you’ll be thinking, ‘Wow, I beat Machida’ in the car on the way back to Birmingham,” Edwards told BBC Sports.

“Then he might seep in. But for now, he’s just a different person, so I’m going to beat him.”

Edwards admits that he has been “disappointed” in recent years, but says he has found solace at his gym in Birmingham.

Like his brother Leon of the UFC, who has faced multiple fight cancellations in recent years, Edwards has also used time to hone his fighting skills.

Fans can expect to see the best of both physical and technical versions of Edwards on Friday, but the middleweight believes his mindset has improved the most.

“I think I’ve matured a little bit more over the past year, and I’ve come to understand what’s right for me,” he says.

“It’s important to find your own way and the way that works for you, and I believe I’ve found it.

“You have to understand yourself as a person. On fight nights you have to walk the stadium, see people and just want to calm down. If someone asks me to sit down, that won’t be good for me. It won’t bring the best out of me. “

‘I’m not surprised if I deal with Machida’

At Machida, Edwards will face the 37-match veteran, the former UFC light heavyweight champion.

The Brazilian has been admired throughout his career for his unique karate style that complements his professional street management and counter-attacking skills.

He is currently on a three-game losing streak, but there are signs that the 43-year-old is starting to lose strength.

Edwards said he believed that the fight against a mogul like Machida would finally come to fruition the moment he started playing the older players better at the gym.

“When I go to the gym or spar, I think, ‘Okay, I haven’t been in that long, but I can catch up with people I’ve been doing for 10 years,'” Edwards says.

“Once you do that, you know that all of this is possible. I am not surprised by that.

“He’s going to play long, moving games. I can play that game, but the game plan is a smart press. Break the rhythm, block the cage, and just go out and show the best version of Fabian.”

‘Leon forces you to do better’

Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz
Leon Edwards’ last match was against Nate Diaz in June.

Edwards’ older brother, Leon, is now Britain’s best mixed martial artist.

The 30-year-old is undefeated in 10 matches and will face UFC welterweight title holder Kamaru Usman once the champion recovers from hand surgery.

Despite Leon’s success, Edwards says he doesn’t feel any added expectations and says the relationship between the two is mutually exclusive.

“I am a loser. Whether my brother is in sports or not, I am a competitive person and I want to be the one who wins everything and does the best for myself,” Edwards says.

“I think [he pushes me] to do better. If there is a sparring session and I do better the next time I spar he will come back and do better. We push each other. It’s always been like that.”

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