FOUR YEARS ago Fabian Edwards was watching brother Leon join the UFC – now they fight just four weeks apart.
As Edwards prepares to face Lee Chadwick at Bellator Newcastle on Saturday, his brother will be four weeks away from co-main eventing UFC London.
Leon is a 19 fight welterweight having fought the likes of Donald Cerrone and Kamaru Usman in the UFC – while brother Fabian is just beginning his run in the sport.
Fighting within touching distance of your brother to some would be a distraction – but to the Edwards brothers, it aids their preparation.
Fabian said: “We’re both fit, one of us hasn’t just rollen off the sofa all fat, with cheesecake in our belly – we’re both fit and both pushing each other.
“That’s what you want, you want to be sparring people as sharp as you and it makes you think sharper, react quicker.
“In training we’re both competitive people, we both push each other and that’s what you want from your training partner.
“You want someone to push you and make you realise after you make a mistake, because on fight night that’s when it really matters.
“He’s been at it for 11 years now, whereas I’ve been going for just four, he’s got six years on me and I’ve only really and truly just got into it.”
While still only aged 25, Fabian has made a surge in the domestic MMA scene winning all five of his contests by stoppage.
But the middleweight’s biggest break to date came in October when he signed a deal with MMA’s second largest promotion, Bellator.
The deal not only guarantees the Birmingham man better exposure to showcase his rise in the sport – it also allows him to “invest” in his training, and his young family.
Fabian said: “I’ve got kids now, it’s good to sign a good contract and look after my family. It allows me to train better, I can invest in myself and in my training.
“I want to have about four fights this year, put myself and the top of the division and make everyone know a bit more about me.
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“We’ll get the title shot at the right time, I’ve always said I’m not going to fight for a title if one guy’s getting paid six times the amount I am.
“It has to be even and this is a business at the end of the day you need to be smart with your choices not just fighting for the sake of fighting, it has to be for the right money at the right time.”
Fabian comes into Saturday nights bout off the back off a quick first round stoppage of Claudio Conti in May last year following a brutal body kick.
Though a routine win in his previous showing, the fight before against Kent Kauppinen offered a different narrative.
After controlling the first four minutes of the opening round, Fabian was suddenly dropped and in trouble.
Though the quick minded middleweight turned defence into attack winning by submission after being floored with a right hand.
Fabian revealed he prepares for situations like the one he faced during his third pro fight – as the Bellator fighter inisited he was never fazed despite facing adversity.
He said: “I rushed in and got caught with a silly shot off balance, just a flash knockdown and then I submitted him 10 seconds later.
“It shows that even when I’m in trouble I’m still switched on, still ready to go – I think about these moments and think how would I react if I got wobbled or in trouble and all that thinking came into play.
“I wasn’t packicking or thinking, ‘Wow, I just got dropped’, I wasn’t thinking anything.
“I think it showed the level that I’m at, it shows how I can think, my fight IQ – a lot of people get dropped and they cover up, or try find a way out.
“I never saw a way out, I just got dropped and and I thought it is what it is, what can I do now and I took his arm off and almost took it home with me.”