One for the future – Undefeated Amateur Fabian “The Assassin” Edwards

Fabian Edwards (8-0) is the younger brother of current UFC Welterweight Athlete Leon “Rocky” Edwards (12-3). Fabian is looking to start his own journey & follow in his older brothers footsteps. One of the most exciting Amateur prospects in both the UK & Irish MMA scene, the heavy handed Middleweight possesses some of the most gruesome finishing power in the Amateur Middleweight division. A top #5 ranked fighter, Fabian has seven first round finishes out of his eight outings. Fighting out of UTC Birmingham which is home to some of the highly regarded professional athlete’s including Leon Edwards, Vaughan Lee, Tom Breese, Tim Wilde, Tobias Reid, Joe Cummins amongst many other exciting prospects, Fabian brims with confidence & has no doubt he has the technical brilliance to become a world champion one day.

Fabian Edwards vs. Wojciech Zuchnik at MMAC 1 for the Amateur Middleweight Title

At only 23 years old, Fabian has only been training mixed martial arts for the best part of two years, with no previous fighting experience, “The Assassin” has quickly rose through the ranks early in his career. 8-0 as an Amateur, Fabian has already faced adversity in his career & has proven; so early in his career, he has the right mindset to deal with any situation given at hand.

UFC Athlete Leon “Rocky” Edwards – “I think he’s progressing solidly as a fighter, Fabians hard working, very talented & he’s doing everything that needs to be done to be a world champion one day.”

Aaron Woodward catches up with Fabian Edwards to talk about his career & as he readies himself for his sternest test to date against another undefeated Amateur Middleweight in Igor Puskarskis (11-0) at Almighty Fight Night on the 10th December in Leeds.

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Lets start with the basics. Tell us a little bit about yourself & how you got into MMA?                                                                                                                                   I’m Fabian Edwards, I’m 23 years old & I am a full-time mixed martial arts fighter with an Amateur record of 8-0. I got into MMA because I’ve always enjoyed fighting when I was younger & when my brother (Leon Edwards) started it, it kind of opened my eye up to the sport.

Would you say fighting is something that’s always been within the family & a way of keeping yourself out of trouble?
Yeah, I would say fighting is always something I’ve done, even since I was a kid. It wasn’t so much of a way to stay out of trouble, it was just what we had to do growing up as a child in our area to protect ourselves.

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© Graham Finney Photography – Shinobi Wars 7 – Fabian Edwards vs. Hrolfur Olafson

8-0 as an Amateur with seven first round finishes, there are alot of athletes out there who tend to just take a couple of Amateur fights before progressing to the Professional ranks. Despite your domination, what do your coaches & yourself say the reason is to keep fighting at an Amateur level?
Myself and my coaches just don’t see the point in rushing to turn Professional. Alot of fighters make that mistake and end up getting smoked. I am in the gym every day working hard to better myself as an all-round fighter, so when I do make the jump to the Professional ranks, none of them will be ready for me!

You’re a heavy striker & hold a lot of velocity behind your strikes, have you got a pedigree in any other sports before starting MMA?
No, I started this sport knowing that I could handle myself from having a few street fights when I was younger, but never put on a pair of boxing gloves or anything remotely close. I’ve only been training just under two years, so I don’t think I am doing too bad for the new guy.

Some fighters have maybe 10+ years of training before starting their journey as a fighter, do you believe in the old chestnut that some people are just born to fight?
I do believe it to a certain extent but I also believe in hard, smart work. Theres alot of fighters working hard but not growing, everyday I am growing as an athlete & feel asif i’m out working the other fighters.

Your gym, UTC in Birmingham is a well-established gym & has been around for a long time, how important is it for your progression to have well experienced athletes such as your older brother Leon Edwards, Tim Wilde, Vaughan Lee amongst others?
Its good for my progression to have experienced guys in the gym because they can show me different variations & techniques I haven’t used before. I haven’t personally trained with Tim Wilde nor Vaughan Lee but I have my brother (Leon Edwards) who gives me useful information if I ever need it.

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© Graham Finney Photography – Shinobi Wars 7 – Fabian Edwards vs. Hrolfur Olafson

How important do you think it is to overcome adversity in the start of your career, when you fought Maciek Slonina at FightStar Championship 6, he seemed to be looking to tie in a Kimura from the North-South position, how do you prepare your own mindset when your not the one in a dominant position?
I think its very important to overcome adversity, it shows who you are as a fighter. I always stay calm when I’m not the one being in control of the fight. I prepare myself by working hard in the gym which gives me a sense of invincibility too overcome anything that is thrown at me in the cage.

You’re scheduled to fight Igor Puskarski (11-0) another undefeated upcoming Amateur at Almighty Fight Night on the 10th December in Leeds, what do you know about your opponent?
I know he’s a wrestler with sloppy hands but I cant see Igor taking me down because he shoots from long-range & my takedown defence is way too good to counter act, he’s been fighting lesser known opponents & on the 10th December, I will show everyone the different levels between ourselves & finish him in the first.

You’ve both actively traded words back & forth on social media, do you genuinely not like Igor or is this a way of trying to get into your opponents head?
I have no ill feelings whatsoever towards Igor, I was just speaking my mind when I said “He was a bum”. I will have him finished in the first & on December 10th I will prove that I am not all talk when I have Igor folded up.

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© Graham Finney Photography – Shinobi Wars 7 – Fabian Edwards vs. Hrolfur Olafson

Are you looking past Igor Puskarskis or are you taking a fight at a time, if/when you get past Igor, himself being a top undefeated Amateur Middleweight. Do you see any other opportunities arising in the Amateur Middleweight division?
I never look past any of my opponents. I always go in there focused on getting the job done, but this will be my last fight in my Amateur career.

Is this finalized with both yourself & your coaches, to turn professional from the start of next year?
Yeah, ten fights will be about the right amount to end my Amateur career & begin my journey as a Professional.

Almighty Fighting Championship are certainly stepping up the mark recently with the promotion of both Professional & Amateur fighters. How do you feel to be apart of the event as a whole on the December 10th?
I am very excited to be apart of the show, I’ve watched a few fights from the show online which looks promising. I’ve also spoken to the promoter which seems like a person who cares about the fighters interests. I can’t wait to showcase my skills on such a highly remark show.

The Professional Middleweight division in the UK is heavily stacked at the moment, is there anyone you would like to fight personally?
There’s no-one that I would personally like to take on at the minute, but I will fight anybody that is put in front of me. I can’t wait to get my hands on the Professionals & show that I am the best Middleweight in the country.

Have you always been a confident individual or do you believe your skill-set is the reason you are able to feel confident coming up to a match-up?
I have always been confident when it comes to fighting even from when I was a child. I used to think no-one could beat me & I still do, plus I work hard & I believe in myself, some people will dislike me for it but it doesn’t phase me. I will keep on pushing for that number one status.

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© Graham Finney Photography – Shinobi Wars 7 – Fabian Edwards vs. Hrolfur Olafson

Thanks Fabian, anybody you’d like to thank?
Thanks for having me. I would like to thank my boxing coach Darren for investing his time in me, my Thai Boxing coach Jamie for also working with me & all my training partners at UTC. I would like to end by thanking my sponsor Animosity Fight Gear for supporting me & finally Active Life Nutrition for helping me get the weight cut right for my fights.