As his main event showdown against Tyron Woodley quickly approaches, Leon Edwards revealed how he went from living in a “tin shack” in Jamaica to the bright lights of the UFC.
“Rocky” moved to Birmingham in the UK in his younger years, but was originally born in Kingston, Jamaica. During an interview with Adam Catterall from BT Sport, Edwards recalled living in poverty and the impact it had on him:
“My house for example where I was born was wooden walls, zinc roof,” said Edwards.
“And in that one shed/shack, there was your living room, your bathroom, your kitchen, your dining room. Everything is in that one shack. But like I said it was pretty normal, I didn’t see it as no other way apart from TV.”
Catterall discussed seeing a great disparity between luxury and poverty during his own travels in Jamaica. Edwards admitted that when he lived there, hearing gunshots and people dying was a common occurrence:
“It was hard, but like I said, I had great parents that always gave me the best out of what they could give me. I was fortunate enough be able to come to the UK and make a better life for myself.”
The welterweight’s father was a local gang leader who was well respected in the community. His father’s success would later be his demise as he was shot in a nightclub when Edwards was just 14 years old. By this time, Leon had already moved to Birmingham in the UK with his mother and younger brother, Fabian Edwards. His Mother ultimately encouraged him to learn MMA to stay out of trouble.
“I learned a lot of great lessons from hardship and this is what I take into my fight career,” said Edwards.
“I believe everything happens for a reason, maybe if I didn’t come from that I wouldn’t be as good as a fighter. Everything happens for a reason, I believe that’s my reason.”
Watch Leon Edwards showcase his fighting spirit against Tyron Woodley in the main event of UFC London on Saturday 21st March.