5 Things You Might Not Know About Leon Edwards

By Mark Raymundo Jun 21, 2018

After his callout of compatriot Darren Till went futile, Leon Edwards again points his finger to Donald Cerrone, a fighter he’s been wanting to face since 2017. The two are expected to engage in battle this Saturday at UFC Fight Night 132 inside Singapore’s Indoor Stadium.

Now ranked no. 18, Edwards has a chance to climb up the welterweight ladder and improve his record to 16-3. Cerrone is currently ranked no. 11, so a win over him would bring the British fighter closer to contendership. With a few days to go before their much awaited clash, here are five things you might not know about “Rocky.”

1. His brother is also an MMA fighter.

Mixed martial arts is a way of life in the Edwards household. His younger brother, Fabian, currently fights in the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts promotion, where Leon used to be the welterweight titleholder. Since turning pro last year, Fabian has garnered five wins, all by stoppage. In all his fights, Leon was in his corner to give pointers and advice. The siblings train together at the Ultimate Training Centre Gym in Erdington, Birmingham. Both have laughed off the idea of fighting each other even if they are in the same weight class.

2. He grew up in an area known for gang culture.

Leon and Fabian grew up surrounded by violence due to their area being notorious for gang culture. To keep them off the streets and away from trouble, their mother enrolled them at the UTC Gym in 2009. In an interview, the gym’s managing director Mark Hardwick said that Leon stood out among other members of the team. He is confident of the fighter’s ability standing up and on the ground.

3. He is a former BAMMA champion.

Leon put together five wins without a loss at BAMMA. At BAMMA 15, he submitted Wayne Murrie to capture the welterweight crown. He defended it impressively, knocking out Shaun Taylor in round three. After his successful run in the UK-based promotion, UFC enlisted him in their roster. He lost his promotional debut to Claudio Silva, but has since amassed a 7-2 ledger, with his other loss dished out by the surging Kamaru Usman.

4. His friends in school nicknamed him ‘Rocky.’

Perhaps alluding to the famous movie character, Leon’s friends from school baptized him with his nickname. Obviously, the name stuck as he is still called “Rocky” now that he’s a professional fighter. Leon attended Aston Manor Academy, the same school that produced Stoke City FC striker Saido Berahino and top cricketers Ateeq Javid and Recordo Gordon.

5. He believes in UK talent.

This faith stems from the fact that fighters from the UK now have access to high-caliber trainers in all disciplines. Gone are the days when they have to travel just to learn wrestling or jiu-jitsu. Leon claims that the young Brits of today are already good in striking, grappling and jiu-jitsu. Soon, he believes, UK fighters will reach the highest levels of success in MMA regularly.
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