With Mike Shipman leaving for Bellator and vacating the middleweight title, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before BAMMA would announce that blue-chip prospect Fabian Edwards would compete for the strap.
There was a lot of talk about his clash with SBG’s Claudio Conti being contested for the vacant title this Saturday night in Dublin at BAMMA 35. Edwards’ notorious teammate and reality television star, Aaron Chalmers, even campaigned for upping the stakes of the showdown on Twitter.
Some might consider Edwards’ 4-0 record slightly light to garner a championship date. However, BAMMA have given 2-0 prospects Richard Kiely and Dominique Wooding [interim] cracks at their promotional gold in the past.
“The Assassin” can’t understand why he wasn’t given a similar opportunity.
“I definitely thought I could be fighting for the title, I feel like I’m next in line,” Edwards told MMA Fighting ahead of BAMMA 35.
“With Mike Shipman running off to Bellator, I thought they would put me in line for the belt. I really don’t understand why I’m not fighting for the title on Saturday night, but I guess it is what it is.”
The undefeated middleweight sees himself joining his older brother, Leon Edwards, in the UFC in the future. Before progressing to the Octagon, he aims to follow Leon’s lead by claiming a BAMMA title.
“The middleweight title is something that I definitely want. Leon obviously won the BAMMA title before he went to the UFC and look at how well he’s doing now. I feel like you get a lot more eyes on you when you’re the champion too. So, yeah, of course I want to bring that title back home.”
The heavy-handed Brit didn’t do a lot of research into Conti’s skillset ahead of their fight, but after looking at his record, he expects to keep his 100 percent finishing rate intact at the 3 Arena.
“All I know is he’s getting knocked out,” stated Edwards.
“I don’t really care too much about him to be honest. I know he’s been finished a few times before so I don’t think it’s going to be an issue for me. That’s just what I do — I finish people. I don’t force the finish, but it always comes. As soon as I put my hands on him he’s going to start shooting or he’s going to panic, start throwing stupid shots and get knocked out.”
The Birmingham native will be baffled if he isn’t afforded a title opportunity on the back of a stoppage win over Conti.
“If it isn’t a title shot next there’s something wrong with BAMMA, honest to God. There are people fighting for titles that have less hype and lesser records than me, that’s the truth. As I said already, I really don’t understand why I’m not getting my shot this weekend. If I see a belt while I’m in Dublin I’m going to take it and run back to England with it!” he laughed.
Edwards agrees with his brother’s prediction that he will join him in the UFC in 2019.
“The way I see it I’m going to be 7-0 by the end of the year with all finishes. I think that’s good enough to get me to the UFC. To be honest, I already feel like I’m on that level. 2019 sounds right. I think I’ll be joining my brother in the UFC and I expect to make a lot of noise very quickly.”