Fabian Edwards proclaims he’s ‘levels above’ BAMMA 35 foe, Claudio Conti and he’s hopeful that a good knockout in Dublin this Saturday will lead to a title fight in his hometown of Birmingham.
Edwards (4-0) — who is currently touted as one of the top middleweight prospects in the United Kingdom — faces Conti (7-4-2) on the BAMMA 35 main card, which will be streamed from the 3Arena, live and free on FITE.tv.
Italian fighter, Conti, who currently trains out of the John Kavanagh led Straight Blast Gym Ireland, has been vocal in the build-up, stating he will shut the mouth of “The Assassin” on May 12.
Saturday night will start Wolf Era
— Claudio_Conti (@ClaudioContiMMA) May 8, 2018
Admittedly, this confidence from Conti is something which Edwards applauds. Equally, though, it’s a driving force to prove that his opponent’s conviction is utterly nonsensical.
“I like someone that’s confident because I want people who are going to try their best,” Fabian Edwards told DreySports ahead of his fight. “There’s levels to this sh*t, and he’s just not there yet. I’m looking forward to putting my hands on him.
“He’s saying that he’s not impressed with me and I ain’t got no power. I’ve knocked out like 13 people and he’s knocked out none. We’ll see when we get in there, he’ll realise.
“On Saturday, I’m not going to be shooting for no takedowns, I’m just going to put hands on him.
“I’m levels above this kid, levels and I truly believe that. So perfect scenario, me going out, touching him with the left hand and sleeping him. That’s it, that is it.”
After the closure of his long-term gym, UTC Birmingham, Fabian, his brother Leon and a number of his teammates opted to move to Team Renegade.
Explaining the switch, Edwards said: “Team Renegade, I was going down there anyway, with Tom Breese and stuff but now, I’m over there full time. So training’s been perfect to be honest.
“Obviously, [UTC] helped a lot of us guys, so I’ll never say forget UTC because it’s part of my career, but it’s time for a new chapter now and since I’ve been down Renegade, I feel like I’ve improved loads you know.”
Fabian Edwards discusses beef with Mike Shipman
In his last fight at BAMMA 34, Edwards overcame an awkward start to submit Kent Kauppinen at the 4:52 mark of the first round. It may not have been the seamless Edwards performance that we have grown accustomed to, but it was almost flawless, still.
With a lack of depth at middleweight, Edwards’s win should have lined him up for a title shot against champion, Mike Shipman. However, not too long after BAMMA 34, Shipman was poached by Bellator MMA, alongside two more BAMMA champions, Daniel Crawford and Ryan Scope.
“He ran off. Mike went running,” Edwards joked.
Unlikely to materialise at any point in the immediate future, Edwards expressed his frustrations, as well as some audacious comments from Shipman after his exit from the promotion.
“It is a bit frustrating, especially I thought because he’s left, they would have put me straight for the title shot. He had the title and he didn’t defend it once. It’s kind of funny but he messaged me afterwards he left. He kept quiet the whole time I was calling him out, never said a word.
“When he left BAMMA he messaged me saying if I want to fight, let’s meet in the gym and fight. I’m like, I called you out how many times to fight and defend your title, but you don’t want to fight me. But you want to fight in the gym? Get out of here man, pay me some money.”
So with Shipman gone, why wasn’t Fabian’s fight at BAMMA 35 been elevated to a middleweight title contest?
“I don’t know because I see myself as the number one middleweight, I’m finishing everyone that’s put in front of me. I’m asking for harder fights, I’m asking for guys with big records. I don’t know because BAMMA’s giving guys who are 3-0, 2-0 [title shots], why aren’t I getting my shot yet? It’s crazy, it’s crazy.”
Fabian Edwards to fight for the world title in Birmingham?
Denied his claim to the title, there’s no doubt that an impressive finish of Conti on May 12 would surely compel BAMMA to award him with a high stakes opportunity. With rumours that BAMMA could return to Birmingham later this year, it’s something “The Assassin” would relish in his own backyard.
“BAMMA, I think they’re coming [to the UK] September, so fingers crossed it’s in Birmingham, for me fighting for the title. That would be amazing,” said Edwards.
“I think it would be good for BAMMA to come Birmingham and put me as the main event, that would be a sellout.
“After I finish Conti, they can’t deny me. I’m the number one middleweight in BAMMA. I class myself as the best fighter across BAMMA. Alex Lohoré said he wanted to move up, I called him out, he got scared. These guys, they’re all p*ssies.“
Image credits, BAMMA.