After snapping the only skid of his career, and in a big way, Fabian Edwards had his sights set pretty high.
Edwards started his career 9-0 before he dropped a split decision to Costello van Steenis in September 2020. In his follow-up at Bellator 259 eight months later, he dropped a decision to Austin Vanderford, who went on to a middleweight title shot against then-champ Gegard Mousasi.
When Edwards bounced back, he did it with a first-round knockout of former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, one of the sport’s all-time greats, in May. He had a couple names in mind for his follow-up, but got a different option, instead.
Edwards (10-2 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) will return to action next week against Conor McGregor teammate Charlie Ward (10-4 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) at Bellator 287 in Milan, Italy.
“Personally, I didn’t want the matchup,” Edwards told MMA Junkie Radio. “I asked for John Salter because he was ranked in front of me at the time. I asked for the Mousasi fight. I never asked for the Charlie fight. I didn’t want the Charlie fight. I wanted those two fights. But that was what was put on the table for me – and I have to eat.”
On the positive side of things, though, as far as Edwards is concerned, is he thinks he might be able to get the feeling he was looking for when he beat Machida.
Edwards said snapping his two-fight skid came with a release – but that the stoppage was fast enough that he might have gotten a bigger rush if he’d have been able to just get a couple more punches off at the end.
If things go the way he has planned against Ward, maybe he’ll get that release, just a little delayed.
“I think with this fight, because Charlie’s a tough guy – or appears to be tough – I think I’ll be able to get a release in this fight,” Edwards said. “I feel like after the fight, I’m going to have had a well-deserved meal – I feel like I’m going to be like, ‘That’s the release I was after.’ Hopefully he can take what I’m giving him and keep coming forward.
“Charlie is a tough guy, but there’s only so far toughness can go. He got wobbled by a random kid in his last fight – the guy had Charlie on a little bit of (roller) skates. Personally, I could see it being like a second-round stoppage. Charlie’s there to be hit, and I’m going to be hitting hard.”
Check out the full interview with Edwards in the video above.