Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a host of established veterans come up short against rising stars — particularly in the welterweight division. Former UFC welterweight and middleweight title challenger Demian Maia lost to Kamaru Usman. Two-time welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson lost to Darren Till. Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos gave up a decision to Colby Covington just last weekend. And if rising British welterweight contender Leon Edwards gets his way, he’ll take out Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the main event of UFC Singapore this weekend.
“The older guys are fading out now,” Edwards told MMA Fighting. “I’m young, I’m just 26-years-old. I think everyone else in rankings is over 30. It’s the changing of the guard for sure, and I’ve got to show that I’m a part of that new movement. That’s what I’m focused in on ahead of this fight. I’ve got to show everyone that I’m a threat in this division,” Edwards explained.
“These older heads are there for the picking now,” he continued. “They’ve still got the name, they’ve still got the clout, but they are maybe more beatable than they once were. They’ve had their turn at the top of the division and now it’s our turn. Everybody knows Cerrone, and by putting him away it puts me straight into that top 10.”
If Edwards can defeat the veteran Cowboy, he’s hoping he’ll eventually cross paths with Kamaru Usman, who he lost a decision to in December of 2015.
“I need to get that Usman fight back at some stage,” he said. “That loss really helped me focus in on my training a lot more. Before that fight, I was looking everywhere for answers and I felt like I needed to travel around to get the wrestling, the grappling, or whatever it was. Now I’m with Team Renegade and I really believe in all of these guys and my training. I know I don’t need to travel now, I’ve got everything I need right here. I think my results from then have proven that the new way is working for me.”
Do you think Leon Edwards can defeat Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC Singapore?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/17/2018.