Throughout his last nine undefeated outings in the Octagon, Englands’ Leon Edwards has been craving an opportunity to make a statement on the sport’s biggest stage. On June 12, he gets that chance against Nate Diaz.
It was in December 2015 when Leon Edwards last tasted defeat. In the time following he has wracked up wins against the likes of Rafael Dos Anjos, Vicente Luque, Donald Cerrone and Gunnar Nelson. He returned to the Octagon after a near two-year layoff in March against Belal Muhammad in a fight which was declared a no-contest due to an accidental eye poke suffered by Muhammad.
If that comeback fight was something of a damp squib for Edwards, you must imagine that the upcoming scrap with Diaz is seen as an opportunity to re-establish his title credentials at 170-pounds and remind the rest of his peers why he has one of the longest unbeaten streaks in the UFC.
“I need to go out there and I need to put him away,” Edwards said to UFC Arabia as noted by MMA Junkie.
“He’s only been stopped once, and that’s all I need. He’s been stopped. He’s not no robot. He’s not no invincible man. He has been stopped, and I truly believe I will go out there and stop him again — and I cannot wait. My skill set will be too much for him in the standup. On the ground, my strength will be too much for him. And I can’t wait to go out there and let him feel that.”
Diaz’s one stoppage loss came against Josh Thomson after the Stockton man absorbed a headkick and was finished by ground strikes. Edwards says that he has the arsenal to repeat this, or even better it.
“I envision going out there and just battering him from pillar to post and getting the stoppage,” Edwards added. “I know he’s a tough, durable guy, and I just don’t think being tough and durable is enough to beat me. I’ve worked hard, and I’ve dedicated myself for a long time, and it’s now time for my results to show. I can’t wait to go out there and prove that.
“I’ve fought many main events and this is probably my fifth main event that I’m preparing for, so I’ve been here before. I’ve done it. I don’t feel it favors him. I think he just takes more punishment all five rounds, and that’s all I see: Me going out there and putting my hands on him and to put him away. I need to go out there and prove to the world that I deserve the next title shot, and that’s what I’m going out there to do.”