Leon Edwards is confident of extending his UFC 170lb winning streak to five against Germany’s Peter Sobotta at UFC London on March 17th.
After Beating Bryan Barberena in September to win his fourth fight in a row and improve his UFC record to 6-2, Leon Edwards wanted to take a step up in competition. In fact, he felt his performances deserved a top-10, or at least a top-15 opponent. That would be the way he could jump into the rankings of one of the promotion’s deepest divisions and earn even bigger fights.
Unfortunately for the Brit, that wasn’t to be. Peter Sobotta is in the firing line instead. But ‘Rocky’ is still in good spirits. This is his opportunity to prove, without a doubt, that he is a cut above the unranked members of the welterweight roster.
“There aren’t many people in the UFC full-stop who have been on a tear like me,” he said. “I definitely feel like I get overlooked and you can tell that by this matchup. I feel I deserve top 10 or 15 guy and I’ve been calling everyone out, but they’re all booked up and busy so Sobotta stepped up to the plate. I’ll go out there and prove my case by putting him away and then I’ll let them know I want someone from the top 10 or 15 of the UFC rankings after.”
Bookmakers expect him to win this contest, but Edwards knows he can’t look past a man who is enjoying his own good run in the Octagon, coming off wins against Nicolas Dalby and Ben Saunders. However, he is confident he can use this opportunity as a showcase to demonstrate how deserving of place among the elite he is.
“I feel I deserve a higher-ranked opponent, but Sobotta is a veteran and has been around since when I began in this sport,” he told FO. “I’m not looking past him and I’m working hard in training. If he goes out there and beats me, then what? I’m 100% taking him serious and it’ll be a good fight.
“After this fight, I will be on a five-fight winning streak and there aren’t many guys in my division on a streak like that. I’m going to go in there, prove my case, do my work and then it will be a top 10 opponent for me next.
The bout is also set to be back on home turf at London’s famous O2 Arena, which became a happy hunting ground for the man from Birmingham when he defeated Vicente Luque there in March last year. In fact, he’s undefeated in the Octagon fighting in Europe, so he’s delighted to fight so close to home again
“It is easier,” he said. “This time around, I live in Birmingham so London is only a two-hour drive away. It’s cheaper as well as I don’t have to pay for flights or hotels for my coaches. It’s so much easier for me to get in my car, drive to London, fight, and then go home. It works out a lot better for me and saves me a lot of money.”
“I feel relaxed wherever the fight is, really. I’ve fought in Brazil before, America… I feel exactly the same come fight night. It’s convenient for me to fight in the UK. I love the UK fans and I’ve fought in London and last time around the fans were amazing so I’m looking forward to competing again in the O2 Arena.”
Tickets to UFC FIGHT NIGHT® LONDON are on general sale now via AXS and Ticketmaster