Bellator's Fabian Edwards reveals his path to the middleweight title
"I see me being a fight away. It all depends on who I’m challenging next. If I’m challenging John Salter, I'll be fighting for the title after him. It all just depends on the name I'm fighting next"
Last Updated: 24/09/20 2:51pm
Fabian Edwards has outlined his path to the middleweight title as he prepares to step back into the cage this weekend to headline Bellator's first event in Europe since the pandemic.
Edwards (9-0) takes on Costello van Steenis (12-2) in the main event of Bellator Europe 8, which takes place this Saturday at Allianz Cloud in Milan. Edwards, from Birmingham, will be defending his 100 per cent professional record of nine wins from nine fights and 'The Assassin' is already eyeing up a chance at the vacant middleweight title.
The championship has been vacant since February when Rafael Lovato Jr relinquished the title after being diagnosed with a rare brain condition called cerebral cavernoma. Bellator's welterweight champion Douglas Lima is due to face Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 250 at the end of October for the middleweight belt.
"To be honest I'm eyeing up who's next," Edwards told Sky Sports. "I've looked at the likes of John Salter who's beat Costello because I believe that he's probably next in line for the title after the Lima, Mousasi fight. So, I'm either looking at Mousasi, Lima or John Salter. Anyone that can get me close to that title.
"I see me being a fight away. It all depends on who I'm challenging next. If I'm challenging John Salter, I'll be fighting for the title after him. It all just depends on the name I'm fighting next."
And what about Van Steenis? 'The Spaniard' boasts an impressive winning record, unbeaten in four fights under the Bellator banner until his most recent fight against top contender Salter in 2019. But Edwards does not think the Dutchman will hold much of a challenge when the two clash on Saturday.
"I just see him as a stiff opponent," he said. "I don't really look at him and think he's a special fighter. Bellator seem to think that, but I'm going to go in there on Saturday to show everyone he's just an average Joe.
"I don't really make much of him, he's a young lad that seems fit and that's it. But I'm young and I'm fit, but I'm smarter and I can't wait to show that."
Chandler signs for UFC
Last week saw the news that Michael Chandler has signed for the UFC and will serve as back-up for Khabib Nurmagomedov's fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 245.
Bellator double-champion Patricio Pitbull responded on Twitter by questioning Dana White's previous comments about Bellator and their fighters. So do Bellator have a stable that can compete with UFC? Edwards seems to think so.
"I really do," he said. "I think we've got a lot of tough guys over here that if they were to go over to that other promotion and challenge, they would be top guys as well.
"That's what's surrounding the sport, people just think that the UFC has the greatest fighters in the world, where there's a lot of different promotions that have great fighters that would do very well.
"I don't pay a lot of attention to people who say that because I see that as disrespect to myself. If I went over there, I'd batter a lot of the guys!"
Fabian Edwards vs Costello van Steenis, Mike Shipman vs Pietro Penini and Will Fleury vs Kent Kauppinen will be available via Sky Sports On Demand from Sunday September 27th.