Yves Edwards: “I Don’t Look Past People; I Just Try to Run Right Through Them”
Veteran Expects “Legit Fight” With TUF 13 Winner Tony Ferguson
By Kelsey Mowatt
While Tony Ferguson has impressed during his brief tenure in the UFC, by winning the thirteenth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and more recently by stopping Aaron Riley, the prospect will face another tough challenge this Saturday when he takes on the near 60 fight vet Yves Edwards. While some established fighters might look forward to an opportunity to halt an up-and-comer’s well publicized rise through a promotion, Edwards confesses that all he’ll be hoping for December 3rd is securing a win.
“Honestly, no man,” Edwards told FCF, while discussing whether this fight has any specific appeal for him due to Ferguson’s recent successes and growing reputation. “The opportunity is to fight in front of the world. Other than that it’s really nothing. Everybody thinks that if you have a name, the guys that train with you, your friends and people like that, think you’re going to smash everybody, but it’s one of those things where everyone in the UFC is tough.”
After battling his way to the finals of TUF 13, Ferguson knocked out Ramsey Nijem in June, before defeating the aforementioned Riley in September to extend his record to 12-2.
“He won the show and stopped a tough guy like Riley, so it’s going to be a legit fight,” added Edwards, who will face Ferguson on the latest “Ultimate Fighter” Finale card in Las Vegas. “It’s not one of those things where it’s like ‘oh I get to stop an up-and-comer’ or ‘I get a chance to beat a popular guy’, for me it’s just an opportunity to fight a tough guy…Every opportunity you have to go out there and shine you have to take advantage of it.”
While Edwards was quick to credit Ferguson for his abilities and accomplishments, the 35 year-old-lightweight believes there are elements of his 27 year-old-opponent’s game that he can exploit.
“For me I’m all about finding weakness in a guy,” said Edwards (41-17-1), who is coming off a stoppage win over Rafaello Oliveira in October, after being knocked out by Sam Stout in June. “Whether it’s on the feet, on the ground, wherever, so I definitely want to go out there and figure out where he’s not strong and test him.”
“I have my opinions on some things where I can test him,” Edwards furthered. “There’s some things on the feet where I see some openings, and we haven’t seen his ground game yet, but he wrestled in school so he should have a better than average wrestling base.”
Of course a win for Ferguson Saturday, would further demonstrate that the TUF winner is in fact the ‘real deal’, and would speak volumes about his potential to be a contender in the lightweight division. Edwards, however, has already scored numerous noteworthy victories throughout his extensive career, and is hoping that a third win for his 2011 campaign will set the stage for a big 2012.
“I’m going to implement my game plan and come out with the W, and I know that he’s going to come out and try to make me a liar, but my plan is to win,” said the American Top Team fighter. “So, I guess it would be a high profile win coming off a victory over a finalist, but I definitely want to get to the top, that’s my ultimate goal. A win over a young guy like this, who’s as tough as this, might open those doors.”
“I want to get through this fight, get a win in dominant fashion, and then move on to someone who’s ranked higher,” added Edwards, who has also scored victories over John Gunderson and Cody McKenzie since he returned to the UFC last year. “I can’t look past this kid. That’s not what I do. I don’t look past people; I just try to run right through them.”
Photo courtesy: American Top Team