Bellator 281’s Fabian Edwards on Machida: “If He Thinks He’s Going to Come In There and Just Bulldoze Me, He Can Think Again”

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The number four ranking attached to Fabian Edwards’ name makes him something of a target for fighters making their way up Bellator’s middleweight division. Many would no doubt love to swoop in and claim that ranking, after all.

But if that’s the plan of Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, who returns to 185 pounds at Bellator 281 on Friday against Edwards, he’s making a mistake, Edwards believes.

“If he thinks that, then he needs to think something else,” Edwards (9-2) told Cageside Press during the Bellator 281 media day this week. Of course, Machida’s back is against the wall, having lost three straight. But Edwards sees another side to that. “I don’t know, I feel like when your back’s against the wall, yeah you are more dangerous. But at the same time, more susceptible to making mistakes.”

“If he thinks he’s going to come in there and just bulldoze me, he can think again,” added Edwards. “That’s not going to happen.”

At 43, Machida is one of the older fighters still competing on the Bellator roster — on any major promotion’s roster, really — at a high level. And Edwards does not want to hear a poential win over the former UFC light heavyweight champion and middleweight title challenger dismissed due to Machida’s age.

“The people that he’s lost against, two are champions, and one’s a number one contender. He hasn’t lost against random people that have been dropped in, he’s lost against top people,” Edwards stated Wednesday. “When I go out there and defeat him, I don’t want to hear none of this talk about ‘he’s old,’ none of that bullsh*t.”

Watch the full Belltor 281 media day appearance from Fabian Edwards above. Edwards faces Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida in a key middleweight clash this Friday, May 13, 2022 as part of Bellator 281 at the SSE Arena, Wembley in London, England.

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