Much has been made of Jeremy Stephens’ arrest last week and the fact that he couldn’t compete at UFC on FX 5, but opponent Yves Edwards didn’t get to fight either.
“I was actually expecting and hoping that he would show up,” Edwards told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Cheap Seats” show. “It really wasn’t until after the fact, when I read all the things going on and I heard about everything, it made sense that that wouldn’t happen. This is not the good old days. It’s not the Wild West. These things take time, and things happen and that’s just not realistic. But at the time I thought it was a very good possibility, especially with the people that were working on making it happen.”
Even after Stephens was arrested the morning of the bout in connection to a 2011 assault charge, UFC President Dana White reassured fans that the fight would happen. However, his attempts to get Stephens released ultimately failed and the fight was canceled.
“I like the guy,” Edwards said of Stephens. “We hung out a little last summer. He’s a cool dude. For his sake, I guess I just really want to see this work out for the best. I don’t know the details. Nobody really does, but if he’s not at fault, then I hope it all gets worked out.”
Edwards said he was paid his show money, but he believes he and Stephens also would have won a “Fight of the Night” bonus had they been able to meet in the Octagon.
“It was good to get paid, especially for not having to perform, but at the same time … I was pretty sure the fight that we would have to be more entertaining than [to win ‘Fight of the Night’] would have been Diego Nunes and Bart Palaszewski,” Edwards said. “That was a really good fight. Diego looked really good, but it was a pretty one-sided affair. If we went out and we had a war, it would have been a pretty entertaining war. I’m confident in saying that we would have at least got ‘Fight of the Night.’”
Instead the veteran fighter has been left to hope he’ll get another bout on an upcoming card.
“I definitely want to fight again as soon as possible because I put in all this work and I’m in good shape right now,” Edwards said. “A little heavy because I was gone for the weekend and I knew there was nothing coming up, but I can be back to fight weight in a day or two. I can make weight in less than a week. But at the same time, getting a new opponent and understanding that this is a business now, it would be nice to be able to prepare for a specific guy, but that’s just because it’s a business. At the same time, I just want to fight.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 32:59).