By John Morgan/TAGG Radio Network
After a stunning flying knee knockout of Edson Berto (13-5-1) at this past weekend’s EliteXC event, lightweight veteran Yves Edwards (33-13-1) is looking for one thing in his next fight: a shot at gold.
On Tuesday, Edwards discussed his future with the crew of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), a content partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
“I want to be the champion,” Edwards said. “I want to have gold… I can’t think of any other guys in (EliteXC), I guess, in my spot right now. I definitely want a shot at (the title). I think I deserve it.”
Edwards has earned title-shot consideration with three straight victories in the last three months. Edwards credits his recent success to his decision to begin training at American Top Team — a decision he made after dropping five of six fights in the previous two years.
“I’m working with a lot of really, really good black belts at American Top Team,” Edwards said. “Guys like Marcelo Garcia, Marcus Aurelio, Rafael Dias — all these really good black belts that I get to train with and then get instruction from… I’ve always been comfortable on my feet, and I’m completely comfortable on my back now because I have all these guys to work with.”
Edwards was able to showcase some of his new BJJ prowess in his match-up with Berto, fending off a guillotine choke in the first round before scoring the knockout. Some fans have questioned whether or not Edwards tapped to the choke, but the 31-year-old fighter wanted to assure everyone that he was never in jeopardy.
“There was no point when I considered tapping,” Edwards said. “The tightest that choke was ever on was initially, right after I swept him. That was about as tight as it got. And even then, it was just a concern. It was just, ‘OK, I need to address this now.’ It was never, ‘Oh no, this thing is really sunk in.’ It was pretty secure, but it was nowhere near finishing. So, there was never a point where I considered tapping.”
The time at American Top Team has proven so beneficial to Edwards that he is currently working on moving his family to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to train full time at the camp — a move Edwards thinks will make him even better.
“I usually go out there (before a fight) for about two weeks, come home for two weeks, and then go back out there and finish the last two weeks there,” Edwards said. “I guess I spend about 66 percent of my time out there, but I’m trying to work things out to get down there full time. That’s going to be really important. I think that’s when you’re going to see a real big difference in me — when I have those guys in my life every single day.”
Until then, Edwards will focus his training on a possible bout with current EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons.
“I like K.J.,” Edwards said. “I’ve known him for a long time. He used to live here in Houston. I met him when he was just a kid, and he was tough back then. But, all that friendship aside, he has that gold and everybody wants that… I want to take that and we can be friends afterwards.”
To hear the full interview, download Tuesday’s edition of TAGG Radio, available for free in the TAGG Radio archives.
This story was produced by TAGG Radio specially for MMAjunkie.com. The show — which is hosted by fighter/broadcaster Frank Trigg, Gorgeous George and Goze — books some of the biggest names in MMA. Download all the former episodes at www.taggradio.com, or tune into TAGG Radio’s live shows Monday-Friday at noon ET/9 a.m. PT.
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