Justin Edwards kicks off the main card of UFC on FX 5 when he goes to battle with long time veteran Josh Neer. The day before the weigh-ins, Edwards was kind enough to take time out of his day to talk about the fight and his opponent.
How’s things going today?
Pretty good, man. Just eager to get the day going.
Today is Wednesday, your fight is Friday, weigh-ins are tomorrow. So when did the grueling weight-cut start?
Well, usually the week of I start to just kinda gauge how much I weigh, but as for this camp the really heavy cut will start today and finish up tomorrow. I’ve just kind of had to maintain all week to stay in the range I wanted to stay in.
So your weight is on target?
Yeah, we’re definitely on track. We don’t have any Anthony Johnsons out here. We’ll be making weight this week.
You’re fighting Josh Neer on the main card of UFC on FX 5. What are your thoughts on Neer?
He’s a tough guy. He’s been around a long time, he’s very experienced, he’s a grueling fighter. He likes to throw out elbows and knees and keep it dirty. It’s gonna be a tough fight – he’s always a good opponent. But I think we have a good game plan for him. Instead of falling into his game plan I want to pose mine and get into the things I want to do, and I don’t think that he’ll be ready for that.
He has five times the number of professional fights that you have. What do you say to the argument that he has seen everything there is inside the cage?
It depends. A lot of people, just stat-wise. There’s tons of fights that I have that aren’t on record. Even his amateur career – he had a long amateur career, he had over a hundred amateur fights. I mean, the guy’s been around a long time. He’s been in a lot of wars and taken a lot of beatings, and that starts to take a toll on people. For me, actually I think we’re the same age, and I train with a lot of good guys. There’s nothing that he’s going to throw at me that I haven’t seen before. I know that when he gets in a bad position I’m gonna have to capitalize on it. He’s very seasoned; he’s not gonna just roll over and give me the easy tap or the easy finish. If I get in a position I’m really gonna have to work for it. And I know that he’s not gonna freak out about it. He’s gonna sit there and work, and he’s a tough guy. You hear stories about him breaking his arm and going to sleep.. that’s how you have to finish a guy like that.
When UFC 151 was canceled and all the reshuffling started to happen, were you at all worried about the position of your fight on the card, or do you not care if you are on the main card versus the preliminary card?
It doesn’t really make a difference; the first fight night, on Facebook, or if I’m the last fight main event fight, I’m still going in there and fighting Josh Neer. That’s what’s going on. That’s all I’m really worried about. As for being on the main card, it doesn’t bother me one bit. A lot of people are kind of upset saying that we shouldn’t be there, you know me and Neer . But I think it’s gonna be a exciting fight. We both have exciting styles we both like to kind of come forward and we both like to bang, so I think he recognized that and some of the fans recognize that. I think it’s gonna be one of the best fights of the night.
You are set to be the opening bout of the main card. Does that put any extra pressure on you to perform well, being that you’re the the opening act, so to speak?
Not for me. What I plan on doing should be exciting enough that there’s no reason to go out and do anything more than what I’m already planning on doing. I like to put the pressure on, I like to try dominating my opponents, and that’s what I’m gonna try to do. And, believe me, me and Neer definitely set the tone for the rest of the night and hopefully everybody else can just follow suit.
So we’re going to see a double back-flip with a spinning elbow knock-out on Josh Neer, right?
Yeah, yeah. If I can get that, that’d be great. If the opportunity comes up don’t think that I won’t, but it’s just one of those things. I don’t know. I’m really excited for the match-up, and if I see the opportunity, I’m gonna try to capitalize on it. Every one of my fights, they’ve all been up for fight of the night, and I just think that people start to recognize that, people like my fights. I’ve never been in a boring fight ever in my life. Hopefully this just gives me a chance to prove myself and show people that I deserve to be in it.
Any final thoughts on the fight you want to share?
Not really. Everyone says it’s just another fight, but it’s gonna be a very tiring fight. Neer’s a very tough guy – I respect him a lot and actually I’m a huge Neer fan. I’m just really excited for the match-up and the opportunity to go test my abilities with a guy that’s more experienced and show people where I stand.
Where can the fans find you at?
Twitter @FastEddyMma or on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/justin.edwards.374)
Any sponsors or people you want to thank?
I just want to thank my teams, and my management team, my training partners. For this camp actually I spend a lot of time at Jackson MMA down in Albuquerque, all those guys down there. Daniels, he’s up here with me from Jacksons Everybody back home at J& G MMA that helped me finish my camp.
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