On September 23, Bellator 299 takes place from the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, with a main event headlined by the current middleweight champion, Johnny Eblen, and challenger Fabian Edwards.
“The Assassin” Edwards is looking to extend his win streak to four-in-a-row whilst becoming the new middleweight champion, while “Pressure” Eblen is looking to keep his undefeated record in tact.
The 30-year-old challenger had a career best performance in his last outing, which came against MMA legend Gegard Mousasi. Mousasi wasn’t the only legend that Edwards has beaten on his way to the title, as in May last year, he knocked out Lyoto Machida in the first round. This has resulted in Edwards adopting a nickname of “The Legend Killer.”
In an interview with Cageside Press, Edwards explained how important those fights with legends have been for his championship fight preparation. “I just feel like it’s the preparation. I used to always try and get ready as soon as the fight was announced I’d be like ‘I need to be fit in two weeks, I need to be fit and ready to go right now,'” he stated. “So over the last few fights I’ve understood that it’s a camp for a reason so I’ve eased myself into camp, I’ve made adjustments in camp and that’s what I felt like has changed in my game, just constantly making adjustments in camp and then at the end of it I feel like I’m right where I need to be.”
Johnny Eblen is well-known for his dominant wrestling pressure, and for any fighter that causes a problem. English fighters usually get looked past when it comes to that area of Mixed Martial Arts and Fabian Edwards is aware of that, but sees this as a challenge within a challenge.
“He fights how he fights. His last two fights and his fights before that, he pretty much fights how he fights. A bit of boxing along with his wrestling and that’s what I look forward to feeling.
“I watch him and I think that ain’t that good and I see loads of holes, so I can’t wait to go out there and feel that,” Fabian said.
Edwards has recently brought out some merch for his title challenge, t-shirts stating his name ‘Edwards’ highlighting the word ‘WAR’ in red. He mentioned how he believes this is the fight and he wants to bring the war out of the champion.
“That is the fight. He’s been saying Fabian likes to just be clean and pretty but at the end of the day fighting’s not about getting hit but that’s what I’ve prepared myself for.
“I’ve prepared myself for a war in there and I know that when I put it on him, he’ll be panicking and shooting for my legs, but that’s what he does.”
Watch our full interview with Bellator 299 title challenger Fabian Edwards above.