After his callout of compatriot Darren Till
went futile, Leon
again points his finger to Donald
, 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
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
3. He is a former BAMMA champion.
Leon put together five wins without a loss at BAMMA. At BAMMA 15,
he submitted Wayne
to capture the welterweight crown. He defended it
impressively, knocking out Shaun
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
, but has since amassed a 7-2 ledger, with his other loss
dished out by the surging Kamaru
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.