Published on TheSun.com, 16/11/2019
Fighting prodigy Fabian Edwards will put his undefeated record on the line at Bellator London on November 23.
The Birmingham-based fighter will battle Michael Shipman for victory at the blockbuster event in Wembley.
Originally from Jamaica, the middleweight star moved to the UK with his family at the age of nine, but began fighting in 2015.
His older brother is top UFC welterweight, Leon Edwards, proving natural athleticism runs in the Edwards’ bloodline.
But before being recognised as one of the UK’s top MMA fighters, “The Assassin” had to overcome great adversity:
“Living in Jamaica, it wasn’t unusual to hear gunshots in the street. My parents did what they had to do to survive.
I come from a tough background, so I understand the value of working hard,” said Fabian.
“I went to prison back in 2011 when I was just a kid. I made a mistake.
That wasn’t a reason why I got into fighting but it was a massive step in changing my life for the better. It was a hard but good learning curve.”
After serving two years, Edwards was released and started working odd jobs to pay the bills and eventually settled on Carpentry.
However, Edwards was forced to re-evaluate his future once again when he was fired over a salary dispute. He said:
“The turning point for me was when I was working as a Carpenter.
I was an amateur fighter. I was training hard and then I got sacked from my day job.
It was the best thing they could have done because it opened my eyes and made realise ‘f***, I couldn’t work for someone like that again.’”
Edwards hopes his trials and tribulations will inspire the next generation of MMA fighters.
His opponent, Mike Shipman is a London-based middleweight who has suffered his own form of adversity, a KO loss to Costello Van Steenis in June 2019.
‘Sea Bass’ has 13 professional wins to his name including a TKO victory over Edwards’ teammate, Yannick Bahati in 2017.
However, his rivalry with Edwards began only a year later:
“I was in interviews, and I was calling him out because he had something I wanted [the BAMMA world title].
He kept quiet like a little mouse, tucked away in London never saying a word to me. Then as soon as he left [BAMMA] he got brave and told me he wants to fight in the gym.
I told him, ‘it’s business, we get paid for it so why am I gonna fight you free?’” said Edwards.
Whilst Shipman is known for his knock-out power and first-round finishes, Edwards believes that this will be the Londoner’s downfall:
“I am expecting an aggressive steroid-head. I believe he will be a lot more emotionally invested in this fight than myself.
“I believe he will come out aggressive and that will cost him. He’s very strength orientated; everything relies on being the stronger man.
“On the 23 November, he’s going to realise that he’s only got to squeeze for a minute or two. After that, the squeeze won’t be there anymore.”
Fabian Edwards believes he has Shipman’s measure and can predict the outcome of their upcoming bout:
“I believe I’ll get a second-round TKO, because he’s going to tire himself out in the first round, then I’ll get the finish in the second.”
‘The Assassin’ believes a second-round finish over Shipman is the perfect stepping stone on the path towards a middleweight title shot.
“I don’t believe in luck, but my hard work will get me that Bellator world title, that’s what I believe in”
“Day in, day out, I work on perfecting my skill and I know the best version of me will get that Bellator title.”
To find out if Fabian Edwards’ prediction comes true, catch all the action at Bellator London on November 23.