Yves Edwards:“If you can’t put me on the mat, you’re not going to be in a pleasant position”
By Kelsey Mowatt
As is the case with many of mixed-martial-arts most established fighters, the near 15 year long career of Yves Edwards has been marked by both success and adversity. More recently, the 35 year-old-veteran had impressed after returning to the UFC last year, scoring victories over Jon Gunderson and Cody McKenzie, until Edwards was brutally knocked out by Sam Stout this past June. As a result, one would have understood if Edwards experienced some apprehension heading into his October 1st bout with Rafaello Oliveira, but according to the accomplished vet, nerves didn’t play a factor.
“I think the loss to Sam kind of took all the nerves away,” said Edwards, when asked if the recent defeat weighed on his mind prior to facing Oliveira at the UFC Live 6 card. “Everyone gets a little nervous before a fight; I usually get really nervous before a fight, but realistically I was only nervous for a couple of minutes….It kind of made me excited that I wasn’t really nervous at all.”
Of course, in the end, Edwards prevented any post-fight discussion as to whether his next fight would be in the Octagon, as the lightweight proceeded to stop Oliveira in the second round to record his 41st professional win.
“I always think I can do things better,” Edwards told FCF. “From watching the video I feel like I could fix a few things, some areas I need to improve and work on in camp…I would give my performance a good solid B. I’ve never been a fast starter, and I don’t like to let get guys jump on me right away and I kind of let him do that. He didn’t react the way he did on tape, and that threw me off quite a bit, but I got him to calm down and then made him react the way I wanted him to. It just got better from there.”
From the opening bell, Oliveira came out aggressively and looked to close the distance on Edwards, but the veteran’s wrestling abilities and counter strikes ultimately proved to be Oliveira’s undoing.
“I think that was a big part of it because he was going to have a much better chance of winning that fight on the mat,” said Edwards while discussing the role his wrestling played in the bout. “I think my wrestling has got a little better and I’m going to continue to make it better. I want to fight on my feet, and if you can’t put me on the mat, you’re not going to be in a pleasant position for most of the night.”
Due to the fact this latest win was streamed on Facebook and wasn’t part of the night’s main card broadcast, Edwards is unsure as to what impact the victory will have with fans and observers throughout the sport.
“I didn’t look like I was trying to make a statement; I think the statement was made by itself that I’m still a force,” said Edwards. “I don’t know, I think I’ve grown past all of that. I still strive to be the best; I still want to go out there and win every fight that’s put in front of me. I’m really comfortable with myself and I could care less about critics, making a statement, or what people think. Of course it’s nice to hear that you’ve done a good job, but it doesn’t mean much unless it’s from someone who actually cares about me.”
“I definitely want a fight like that,” Edwards added, when asked if he’s hoping to face a highly regarded opponent next. “Top ten guy, another guy with a name, that’s the kind of guy I want to fight next. I want to fight the best guys in the world. I haven’t sat back and thought about it but there’s a ton of good fights out there…Just tough guys that are good in so many areas of the game, that’s the kind of guys I want to fight.”