Bellator Birmingham Interview: Fabian Edwards
The latest instalment of the Bellator Europe series hits UK soil this coming weekend, with Birmingham playing host to a fantastic line-up on May 4th. Included in the array of talent for the night is one of the top middleweights on the Bellator roster, the currently undefeated Fabian “The Assassin” Edwards (6-0).
Edwards will be competing in front of his home town fans as he takes on Bellator newcomer Falco Neto Lopes (11-9) on the main card. I had the pleasure of catching up with Fabian ahead of the event to get his take on his opponent, fighting in his home city, where he sees himself in the Bellator middleweight title picture and that incident between his brother Leon and Jorge Masvidal!
Fighting out of the highly acclaimed Team Renegade in Birmingham with the likes of his brother; UFC’s Leon Edwards, as well as Tom Breese, Aiden Lee and Yannick Bahati amongst many others, Fabian has enjoyed another productive camp that he feels have continued to sharpen his skills come fight night:
“Training camp has gone really well. Camp has been mainly completed at Renegade but I have been at Velocity Training Club for my strength and conditioning and Corefit to train with Henry on my striking, he is my main striking coach. I worked with him for my last fight and I felt the improvements, so for this fight I have been doing loads more sessions and we have gelled well; our styles go together well and he will be in corner on May 4th”
Edwards will be competing in front of his home fans on May 4th, the first time in his professional career that he has competed in his home city, and it is an experience he is definitely looking forward to:
“It’s an amazing feeling. I’m glad that Bellator took the time to come to and I’m sure all the fighters, myself included, will put on a great show and great performances. I’m just grateful, grateful I am there and on the card. I should have been he main event but that’s another story”.
“There’s no pressure. It’s just another day and another fight for me. I’m sure they are expecting me to feel pressure because I am competing in my home town but I feel f**k all, I’m just feeling violent and I look forward to going out there and showing my home supporters what Birmingham has to offer”.
Fabian’s opponent for the night will be Portugal’s Falco Neto Lopes. Although not a household name to some fans, Falco has taken on previous UFC calibre opponents in Enrique Marin and Francimar Barroso during his 20-fight professional carer to date. Despite Falco having the experience advantage, Fabian isn’t impressed with what he has seen from his opponent thus far:
“I look at him and he hasn’t much to look at. He doesn’t do anything well. He is just another body. This camp I have focused on myself and improving my own skills. I’m just going to go in there and put him away. My last fight I learnt a lot in there. So looking at my opponent and how our skills match up against each other, it’s just going to be the same as the last fight but we will see a finish. I’m going to make him look like an amateur and show everyone that I am the real pro”.
‘The Assassin’ enters the contest undefeated at 6-0 with 5 of his 6 wins coming via stoppage. In his last outing he took on MMA veteran and former Cage Warriors champion Lee Chadwick, who he comprehensively defeated via unanimous decision. Post-fight Edwards exclaimed how he was disappointed in not getting the finish after rocking his opponent in the first round, however, after reviewing the fight he realises how valuable the experience is of going 15 minutes with a former champion:
“I’m not disappointed. I have now come to the realisation that it will benefit me in the long run and in this next fight I’m sure it will show. Those sort of experiences are invaluable and you only get them through being in there fighting.”
When asked for a prediction on how he sees his fight going down on May 4th, Edwards is confident that it will be a short nights work:
“I see Falco being stopped in the first. The thing that Chadwick had was that he could take a shot, he wasn’t strong, he wasn’t particularly durable, he could just take a shot. If I had put a few more shots on him I would have put him away but you live and learn. Falco’s just hasn’t got a chin, I have seen him get slept in some of his previous fights and look forward to adding another KO loss to his record”.
I couldn’t resist but ask Edwards about the backstage incident between his brother Leon and Jorge Masvidal when the UFC visited London back in March when Fabian was cornering his brother that night and witnessed the event unfold. I also (jokingly) proposed an interesting old school back yard brawl set up with, Fabian and his brother taking on Jorge Masvidal and Yoel Romero in a two on two contest, a clash that Edwards seemed more than willing to be part of:
“If you see the video you will see exactly what happened, but yeah let’s go for it, put a big bag of cash on the table and I am signing up and we are taking the money back home with us”.
When asked who he would like to take on next if he is successful in his outing against Falco, Edwards – who is usually more than happy to call out opponents – remained relatively open to his plans going forward:
“To be honest I am going to stop calling people out because whoever I mention I never end up fighting. Bellator have got a plan for me and whatever they wan to do with me they are going to do. For me personally, I want to fight everyone in this division and that’s it. I don’t know how far I am from the title shot but until I start getting paid my worth that’s when I will really start pushing them for the shot…it’s all about business at the end of the day. If they pay me my worth then I will step in. I will step in on June 22nd if Lovato Jr pulls out and they offer me the right money. It is business at the end of the day and I am not a meat head. A lot of these fighters are meat heads who don’t even think (about the business side of things). For now I am looking to continue to smoke everybody they give me and whoever they offer me, I am never turning down a fight”.
Finally, when asked if he had a message for his opponent come Saturday night, The Assassin had just one request:
“Just show up and I will take care of the rest. You can show up on weight, over weight, but either way I will send you back to Portugal busted up with some bad memories of Birmingham”.
Article written by Jon Prentice – Newsome MMA