Light heavyweight prospect and Jackson-Wink MMA product Christian Edwards talks title goals, Diego Sanchez and more ahead of Bellator 233.
Christian Edwards takes on Cesar Bennett at Bellator 233. The hot prospect’s return goes down Friday, November 8 at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Edwards is looking to keep the momentum going in his MMA career. He recently made his pro debut with Bellator MMA and logged a win in that outing. Edwards looks to continue his journey under the Bellator banner by notching a win over Bennett this Friday.
Edwards has been diligently putting in work under names like Coach Wink and Coach Jackson. The Jackson-Wink scholarship is a unique arrangement that is still paying dividends for Edwards. Edwards seems to be firing on all cylinders and is appreciative of getting another platform to showcase his skills.
Christian Edwards told us ahead of Bellator 233 that “I’m just excited that I’m actually going to get to fight again before the end of the year. That’s what I was worried about after my last fight. It ended so quickly but I’m glad I’m able to fight again.”
Edwards has no reservations about taking on a debuting fighter through the lens of not knowing as well what his opponent’s skills are. “It’s business as usual,” he said. “I can adjust when I need to.”
Christian Edwards’ tenure with Jackson Wink has also created bonds with past alums of the gym. The longtime Jackson Wink warrior/ recent gym defector Diego Sanchez is someone that Edwards has a bit of a complex relationship with.
“To be a hundred percent honest with you man, I haven’t talked to Diego in months, dude,” admitted Edwards. “It’s probably been like two or three months since I’ve talked to Diego. I love Diego like a brother really. He really took me under his wing when he was still here and he definitely did a lot for me.”
He continued, “I always will appreciate Diego as a friend. As a fighter, I feel like lately some of the decisions he’s been making towards his fight career, he’s just kind of making a fool of himself. That’s nothing against Diego. I love Diego. That’s him and his career. I don’t really agree with the decisions he’s been making as far as his fight career.”
Though Christian Edwards is entering his second pro fight here, he has big aspirations for the new year. Edwards quipped, “My goals for 2020 is to just make a statement and make sure that I can hopefully get into the top ten before the end of the year next year. I’d like to be in the light-heavyweight top ten of Bellator. By the end of 2020, I’d like to be talked about for title contention.”
There has to be confidence that underpins Edwards’ title goals considering who he trains with. Jon Jones has a prior victory over Bader and Edwards seems to gain a lot of confidence from that. In fact, the strong mental game of Edwards is something he sees as arguably his best characteristic.
Edwards stated, “I don’t know too much about Ryan Bader— what his future plans are. When I am being discussed for a title shot, if Bader’s still the champ then that’s who I fight. That’s definitely one of my biggest attributes I feel like is my confidence. I feel like once I do get to that level, I’ll be ready for that fight. Once I am competing at that level fighting top five guys.”
Rizin and Ryan Bader
To the point of Ryan Bader, it seems like there are some rumblings of a crossover fight with Rizin’s light-heavyweight champion on the year-end card. This lead to asking if Christian Edwards would be interested in a future crossover to Rizin.
“Honestly man, not really,” answered Edwards. “Truth be told, if I was ever going to fight for any other organization other than Bellator, it for sure would be the UFC. If I was going to fight somewhere else other than Bellator. My future in Bellator for sure is either title contention or if not title contention…..If they’re not talking about me fighting for a title by the end of my contract with them, then I’ll for sure look at the UFC. I’m not saying I will go to the UFC but it’s something I’ll look at.”
As a parting thought, Christian Edwards succinctly articulated just how locked in he is to compete on Friday. He stated, “I’m just ready to fight, man. I just like to fight. I love the media stuff too. The media’s always fun.”
The light heavyweight bout goes down on the prelims this Friday, November 8, which can be viewed starting at 6:45PM ET on the Bellator App, or right here on Cageside Press.