Fabian Edwards has been one of the most highly touted prospects in the U.K. ever since he made his professional debut, but that didn’t make his ascent to prominence under the Bellator banner a cakewalk by any means.
Edwards got his new Bellator contract underway with a resounding decision win over former Cage Warriors champion Lee Chadwick in Newcastle last weekend. “The Assassin” has previously described his new Bellator deal as “life changing”, but he admitted that up until that point he struggled to make ends meet like most up-and-coming fighters.
“It’s very hard,” Edwards admitted on the latest episode of Eurobash. “Every fighter knows that the come up is hard. Luckily I had a lot of people around me that told me to stay focused and that it would pay off.
“That’s what I’ve done, I’ve stayed focused and I’ve grinded through those hard times because everyone around me knows that it’s been hard. I grinded through those hard times, believed in myself as I always do. I always believed that I would get to the big leagues, I’m in Bellator now and I’m earning good money. I mean…my paycheck…that could cover me for the year if I wanted it to. It’s a good feeling.”
Edwards woke up every morning and cleaned to make ends meet and stressed that he didn’t mind doing it because he knew he was set for bigger things in the future.
“I had a morning job. I’d wake up in the morning and I’d work seven days a week. The job would keep me ticking over, it would get me through until the next paycheck, but it was seven days a week…I just did what I need to. I used to finish would at about 7 or 8 a.m. and then I’d go training at 11 and then crack on all day and then repeat it for the seven days. I had it in my head and I knew this wasn’t going to be it. I knew I just had to do it to get to where I am now and now I don’t have to do that anymore.”
“I was a f*ckin’ cleaner [janitor],” he added. “I tell all the younger guys coming up that sometimes they have to do things they don’t want to do to achieve something bigger. That’s what I had to do.”
When given an ultimatum by his employer and forced to choose between MMA and his cleaning work, Edwards chose to part ways with his everyday commitment ahead of his last outing under the BAMMA banner last May.
“They had to let me go because I kept needing to take time off. When I had a fight coming up I’d have to have about four or five days off, and they were like, ‘Mate, you’re going to have to choose [between the cleaning job and fighting career],’ and I was like, ‘F*ck that’. I think it was before my May fight in Dublin, I had to pack it in then. Honestly, if they hadn’t given me that option I’d probably still be there, I’d have kept earning money right up until that Bellator deal,” he said.
“I had to pack it in, the last nine months have been a struggle, but I’m here now and there’s no going back.”
With the cleaning job in his rear-view mirror, Edwards has big things planned for his next move under the promotional banner beginning with the second event on the European Series calendar in his hometown of Birmingham on May 4:
“I just want to do everything big. I wanna be on all the big shows. After Birmingham, I want to be on all those big events because I want Bellator to see that I’m the future of Bellator. I hope they put me on those big shows so I can be on Sky Sports and get an even bigger fan base.”
Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Fabian Edwards interview beings at 38:00.