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Leon Edwards out to earn respect at UFC London

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Ahead of UFC Fight Night: Manuwa vs. Anderson in London, England, Fighters Only caught up with rising welterweight Leon Edwards to get his take on his fight with Brazilian finisher Vicente Luque.

 

Fresh off a win at UFC 204 in Manchester in November, ‘Rocky’ is hoping to earn a place in the UFC’s top 15 at 170lb with a win on Saturday.

 

After your last fight with Albert Tumenov, you talked about earning respect. Do you think beating a top 15 guy earned you that?

A little bit. I think there’s still doubters , but I think the more wins (I get), the more proof I’m the number one guy. I’ll just keep chipping away and hopefully one day they’ll come around.

 

Even with a win over Vicente Luque, do you think you need to put in more work to get there?

I feel like I need to start calling out people or something – that’s the only way I’m going to get respect.

 

Why haven’t you done that so far?

I’m not really into it. I’ll fight whoever. I’m very confident in myself and I don’t think it matters. I’ll see how this fight plays out. I’m going in there for the finish, for a good performance and I’ll go on from there.

 

You were keen to keep fighting top 10-15 opponents. Are you disappointed that you’re not, even though Luque is on a tear?

I would’ve liked to fight someone with a bigger name but he’s doing good, coming off two big wins, two big KOs. He’s up and coming, I’m up and coming, so I think it’s a good fight.

 

How confident are you about winning?

I’m looking forward to it. My last two camps I was focusing more on the ground, getting better there. This time I’m focusing more on what I’m good at, which is striking. It’ll be a good fight.

 

How much of an advantage is fighting in the UK for you?

I like fighting at home. I’ve never lost in the UK. I love having my family and friends helping me in training camp, I’m not in isolation. I’ll train, do my camp, then drive down to London. I love it

 

Do you think the rest of the world underestimates the talent in Europe?

100%. Look at the proof. We’ve got four European champions or something like that now. European MMA is definitely growing. We’ve got everything you need here. It’s all at home.

 

What’s your prediction for the fight?

I’m looking for a KO. I haven’t’ had one in a while. Get a KO, get some of that 50 (thousand dollars) (laughs). 

 

A limited number of VIP tickets for UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: MANUWA VS. ANDERSON are still available from AXS and Ticketmaster.