Jeremy Stephens is the guy Yves Edwards wanted to fight.
The bout was set for Oct. 5 at UFC on FX 5, but after Stephens was arrested the morning of the fight, it was cancelled. Edwards was then slated to fight John Cholish at the Dec. 8 UFC on Fox 5 event. When Cholish was injured, though, Stephens stepped in and the original matchup came back together.
“He’s a more established guy,” Edwards said of Stephens during an appearance on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Cheap Seats” show. “He’s a guy that I know and it’s a fight that I was real excited for. The Cholish fight would have been an exciting fight because I planned on winning it and I can’t win a boring fight, but the fight with Jeremy, there’s only one way that this fight can be a boring fight and that’s if one of us decides to play it extremely safe. I don’t think that’s in either of our natures. The only time a guy’s going to play it safe is when [he] needs to recover. ... It’s one of those things where I don’t really care who [my opponent] is, but at the same time, I’m excited that it’s a guy who has power, he has exciting fights and it’s somebody’s whose skill set I respect.”
Stephens is known for his knockout power. Edwards, however, knows his way around on the feet as well.
“I think on our feet, the fight is power versus speed,” Edwards said. “On the mat, I think I’ve got more experience than him and I think my ground game is going to be better than his, but I’m not going to try to force a fight on the mat. When those transitions happen and when we get to that position, I’m going to take every advantage of it that I can. My instinct is to fight on my feet. That’s where I’ve enjoyed most of my success, and most of my submissions have come from hurting a guy and then getting on them on the mat, hurting them and then putting them in a submission.”
Edwards understands he’ll have to stay on his toes if he’s going to strike with Stephens, though.
“I think I can just never get comfortable,” he said. “I think I got a little comfortable in the [Sam] Stout fight. ... I went back and watched the tape. He threw that same punch, I think, two times before he landed it. It had to have been something he saw, but I did get comfortable. I felt like I was faster than him and I sat in the pocket too long in that exchange. I think that’s what I need to not do with Jeremy. Just can’t ever get comfortable because the guy takes power with him into the third round, and that makes a guy always dangerous.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 9:00).