The BAMMA middleweight division has entered a transitional period. With the now former champion, Mike Shipman having officially left for Bellator and vacating his middleweight title in the process, the logical next contender is the hot prospect, Fabian Edwards.
In the lead-up to his bout with SBG trained Claudio Conti – there was a lot of back and forth banter. Edwards and Conti will step into the cage on Saturday night at BAMMA 35. Edwards has been staking his claim for a title shot and was even backed by Geordie Shore star and MMA competitor, Aaron Chalmers.
Speaking with MMA Fighting, Edwards said: “I definitely thought I could be fighting for the title, I feel like I’m next in line.”
“With Mike Shipman running off to Bellator, I thought they would put me in line for the belt. I really don’t understand why I’m not fighting for the title on Saturday night, but I guess it is what it is.”
Edwards, who boasts an undefeated 4-0 record, is aiming to join his brother Leon Edwards in the UFC soon. Like his brother, Fabian wants to claim the BAMMA title before he progresses onto the UFC.
“The middleweight title is something that I definitely want. Leon obviously won the BAMMA title before he went to the UFC and look at how well he’s doing now. I feel like you get a lot more eyes on you when you’re the champion too. So, yeah, of course, I want to bring that title back home.”
Ahead of his bout with Conti, Fabian showed his confidence: “All I know is he’s getting knocked out,” stated Edwards.
“I don’t really care too much about him to be honest. I know he’s been finished a few times before so I don’t think it’s going to be an issue for me. That’s just what I do — I finish people. I don’t force the finish, but it always comes. As soon as I put my hands on him he’s going to start shooting or he’s going to panic, start throwing stupid shots and get knocked out.”
“If it isn’t a title shot next there’s something wrong with BAMMA, honest to God. There are people fighting for titles that have less hype and lesser records than me, that’s the truth. As I said already, I really don’t understand why I’m not getting my shot this weekend. If I see a belt while I’m in Dublin I’m going to take it and run back to England with it!”
Edwards believes he will make it to the UFC by 2019, a prediction he shares with his sibling.
“The way I see it I’m going to be 7-0 by the end of the year with all finishes. I think that’s good enough to get me to the UFC. To be honest, I already feel like I’m on that level. 2019 sounds right. I think I’ll be joining my brother in the UFC and I expect to make a lot of noise very quickly.”
Can Fabian Edwards live up to his potential?