UFC welterweight Leon Edwards will face the former division champion Tyron Woodley in the main event at next weekend’s UFC London event.
He moved to Birmingham, UK at a young age to escape poverty and get a new start in life. The UFC recently released a powerful promo video for the fight, showing the journey of Edwards, from poverty to being one of the highest ranked welterweight fighters in the world.
“Rocky” recently sat down with Adam Catterall from BT Sport, talking about the journey and how it has impacted his mentality and life in general:
“My house for example where I was born was wooden walls, zinc roof,” said Edwards.
“And in that one shed/shack, there was your living room, your bathroom, your kitchen, your dining room. Everything is in that one shack. But like I said it was pretty normal, I didn’t see it as no other way apart from TV.”
Edwards revealed that when he lived in Jamaica, the sound of gunshots and people dying was an everyday occurrence:
“It was hard, but like I said, I had great parents that always gave me the best out of what they could give me. I was fortunate enough be able to come to the UK and make a better life for myself.”
His father was associated with local gangs and was well respected in his area. The criminal lifestyle of his father later proved to be his demise, as he was shot in a nightclub. Edwards was just 14 years old at the time and had already moved to Birmingham in the UK with his mother and younger brother, Fabian Edwards. He credits his mother for encouraging him to take up MMA to stay out of trouble.
“I learned a lot of great lessons from hardship and this is what I take into my fight career,” said Edwards.
“I believe everything happens for a reason, maybe if I didn’t come from that I wouldn’t be as good as a fighter. Everything happens for a reason, I believe that’s my reason.”
His younger brother, Fabian Edwards is set to fight against Costello Van Steenis in the Bellator London co-main event in May 2020.
UFC London is headlined by Leon Edwards and Tyron Woodley. It’s set to take place next weekend on 21st March, 2020.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 13th March, 2020.