“He’s one of the biggest names in the UFC at the moment,” Edwards told the UFC.com during his UFC 263 fight week interview. “For me to go out there and take him out would put me right where I need to be, which is fighting for the world title. That’s my focus, going out there, putting my best foot forward, performing to the best of my abilities and getting the victory.”
There couldn’t be a better storyline or better matchup for the first-ever non-main event or title fight to be scheduled for five rounds. Both the widely-respected Edwards and fan favorite Diaz are veterans of training for five rounds, and their ability to finish fights prior to the final horn makes this fight all the more intriguing.
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“I think with a person like Nate, he’s going to bring the best out of you,” the 29-year-old said. “He’s right there in front of you, you don’t have to go looking for him, and you know what he’s going to bring to the table. He’s been doing it now for his whole career, his patterns are the same. This is going to be a guy that brings the best out of me, and I cannot wait to show that to the world.”
A perennial title contender who seems to be constantly overlooked in the UFC welterweight division, Edwards has taken out names like Rafael Dos Anjos, Donald Cerrone and Vicente Luque during his rise to the top of a division reigned over by champion Kamaru Usman — the last person to hand Edwards a loss, nearly six years ago.
It’s a name he’s had his sights set on for a while.