Ep. #90 – Adli Edwards

Adli Edwards is a mixed martial artist who will be competing in the upcoming Ultimate Battle Grounds 4 card as a Lightweight. The North Carolina native has picked up 3 finishes en route to a 6-1 record, and is also the former Fight For It Featherweight Champion.


Adli Edwards: The the world’s going nuts right now so have you been holding up. You know what honestly i’m a i’m, a pretty uh stay at home, pretty chill person. I actually don’t tell anybody, but i kind of like the quarantine, it’s nice to have being able to stay at the house, just relax, um, i’m a fan of this lifestyle, at least maybe not about what’s going on out there, but but yeah i’m holding up okay. I uh not too bad here yeah i enjoyed it as well, i’m up in canada, so it’s still kind of like still semi-quarantined like we’re not about leaving the province, so can’t really do much travel, but i i started this because of quarantine like i would have Never started this, so it is kind of nice that i was able to find a passion for it. So is there anything that you found and anything you discovered about yourself throughout the whole thing uh discovered about myself. I don’t know, but it was nice having that lull in activity and busyness. I know it. Uh obviously doesn’t help for business and making money, but it really helped kind of organize. You know the home life kind of create some structure, i’m kind of self-employed. I work out some gyms, but i do a lot of personal training, strategic conditioning work. It helped me just kind of sit back and reevaluate things streamline the process and, honestly, i feel like life’s gon na be a little bit easier more. I guess three months the best way to put it moving forward, so i think all in all, i came out better for it. So that being said, you’ve got uh. You’Ve got fight news, big fight, coming up against jake, william um. How are you feeling i mean speaking for myself, i kind of uh you know ate whatever i wanted didn’t really train as much as i should have. How are you feeling um and how’s the pandemic affected your weight and how are you feeling, oh honestly, uh i’ve? I’M pretty disciplined, i don’t really eat a whole lot of junk and i wasn’t sure what was happening when i thought maybe i was gon na get a last-minute call up to the ufc potentially um during this whole time. So i tried to stay ready. I was ready to take a fight. They gave me a fight on two three days notice. I could made weight and been ready to go so i’m saying lena mean i could make wait for this fight tonight. If you need me to how do you uh? How do you feel about him as an opponent? I don’t know much about him to be honest, um, it’s just a guy there, i’m here to show him active. I think it’s been. I don’t even know 17 months 18 months. I just want to get back in there. It’S been a long time off between the covet injury waiting for fights that i thought were going to happen and then fell through, and it’s been a lot of down time and i’m just getting stir crazy. I want to go on there and do what i love to do everybody talks about ring rust. I mean you hear so many guys mention it like. I haven’t fought in a year two years three years. It feels weird. Have you thought of that? Maybe like it’ll, take you a little while to get in the groove of it and how do you kind of train your preparation, change, your preparation? Knowing that you know, i don’t think so. I i’ve had a couple long layoffs, unfortunately, before not not even close to this long course but uh. You know, i’ve had injuries, i’ve had fights fall through after one after another. After another and um you know i just stay focused. I use a lot of visualization um. You know just just seeing myself doing what i do and when i get in there it’s i don’t feel rusty or nervous. As long as my timing’s good from training, i think uh, you know i just get out there and i’m eager to perform. I feel more excited than anything else. I want to talk about your loss. I know everyone comes out here and they start talking about your wins, but i want to. I want to pinpoint on that. Okay, so so when you lose a fight early on in your career, how do you rebound you know like so many people are probably like you know what? Maybe this isn’t me this isn’t for me. I know it was close. Did you look back at it and say you know what learning experience i’m going to be better from it or was there a time where you’re like you know what? Maybe i’m not cut out for this? You know what i i’ve never really doubted my ability there and i think um in the fight, especially the fir the fight. I don’t know if you saw, but it was close, the first decision yeah he got the first round for sure um. I had a lot of issues there and adjusting adapting, but i made some a good adjustment, so i think it helps losing the fight, but knowing i was building momentum at the end, so i felt like i was winning as it went as opposed to the flip Side around so maybe that helped lessen the you know the blow from it. I guess, but i to answer your question. It was definitely a learning experience. I think, on multiple fronts. I really changed the way. I approached my training taking fights. I was a little injured in there and i was you know when you’re undefeated, you kind of get a little arrogant to fight. Before that i had i banged up my rib, i couldn’t throw a right hand and i beat the guy and i was like this – is going to be not a problem and i was wrong. I had a hamstring injury, i couldn’t really move well and the guy was talented. I was kind of overlooking him and he ended up being a pretty talented fighter. So i i changed the way i approach my preparation. I changed the way. I definitely he exposed a lot of weaknesses in my style to be honest, um he had the perfect skill set to to show me things i needed to improve on, and i was able to do that. I think i’m a hundred times better fighter for being exposed early and honestly i’d rather lose early than be in the ufc and have to make a giant adjustment against guys who are you know world-class athletes right there trying to take my head off and there’s high Stakes prior to going pro, you did have a long amateur career. What was the reason for for taking so much time? Was it? I want to make sure i’m ready before i go pro was it you know, i don’t want to go pro and get a loss to start off my career. What was the reason for taking such a long time to before jumping into a professional? You know there were just some boxes. I wanted to check before i made the jump. I think i always knew i had certain skills and talents that i felt very comfortable with and confident in. I think that even probably my second or third amateur fight, i feel like, would have held some of the skills that hold up through my next 10 pro fights. But there were some things i hadn’t developed and i wanted to make sure i could do those things and some of my amateur fights. I would even – and my coaches tell me to drag it on, like hey man, we’re having a hard time getting fights, make this thing. Go three rounds, get your skill time in there be in these positions. Do these certain things and i think i’m better for it. I think it’s definitely helped out a lot. You mentioned um my hard time. Finding fights one of the things i noticed when i go through your topology is every fight i think, is on a in a different organization. What’S the reason for that? Is it just not being able to find fights? Is it not being able to stick with an organization? What is it i think it’s twofold there, so i think a lot of it is um. A lot of the organizations i fought for uh were local regional shows and some of them just ended up going under afterwards. Uh look one of my favorites, the rfo great promotion, but uh they ended up. Closing down didn’t get another chance to fight for them and a lot of them were that way, some of them where i started my career in ohio and columbus, it’s one big gym, ronin, training center right now that absorbed all the other gyms and if you want To fight anybody in columbus, you’re going to fight your own teammate, so a lot of the local promotions had champions in my weight class and they didn’t. We don’t want to fight each other, so kind of sit on the sidelines. So a lot of them. I’D wait for my teammate to lose and then i go beat the guy that beat him. So it was a lot of uh waiting. My turn, i guess, if you will and then, if you’re, anytime, you’re fighting outside your hometown, you know they’re only bringing you to lose so they’re, not gon na they’re, not driving me up there to pay me to go, beat up their guy. So unfortunately that’s uh. That’S where a lot of the waiting comes in one of the one of the perks of the pandemic has been uh opportunities. I mean you’re hearing guys like matthew, semelsberger, guys that i’ve never even heard of getting shots in the ufc. Does that as someone on the outside looking in, does that look like you’ve got to be really motivated? It’S like man. If i go out there get a win, someone pulls out of the container series, i’m right there, someone pulls out of an event, i’m available. So, absolutely from somewhere on the outside. Looking in how do you, i guess, how do you prep knowing knowing like? Are you constantly tweeting? Are you talking to your manager? What sorts of things are you doing to to make sure you’re getting noticed right now? Yeah, i’m believe me, man, it’s it’s a very exciting time. Definitely i think. Every time we have a fight fall out, we’re uh, you know, hitting my manager seeing what we can do see what’s happening, seeing how we can get in there and i think uh, i’m right on the cusp. I know i am. I was on the radar before with the contender series and i think um the big thing right now, just like i said sean, i’m active my my last fight, which i guess a year and a half ago i fought a guy who’s 5-0 and literally i i Want to say, maybe two days four days after that, i got a call from the ufc for contender series, so i i think this is all it’s going to take, hopefully to show them on the radar and get that uh. Get that call up. Is that the dream ufc? Is it bellator? I’Ve heard guys say you know what i’d rather fight for free for the ufc than make a hundred thousand dollars in bellator is? Is there like uh as someone on the outside? Do you have like um like an interest? More specifically for the ufc, or does it matter just whatever call comes first, you know what man here’s, what i really want. I obviously make great money in the ufc. You can make pretty good money in bellator and all these other organizations as well but um. I the reason i started training and fighting is because i wanted to compete against the best in the world yeah and um. There are some great guys in these other organizations, but i think the majority of them right now are in the ufc and my weight class. Featherweight’S looking pretty deep right now and that’s where the talent is, and those are the guys i want to compete against those guys want to try to beat and uh that’s where i want to see myself right now now, if all those guys get cut from the Ufc and putting bellator put me over there, i want to beat the best. That’S my dream. I like it. I mean i hear that i i spoke to justin james, the three days before he got signed at the ufc and he said i’ll fight for the ufc. For free over taking a million dollars in bellator – and i was like all right and then like three days later he got signed, it was crazy. It was like awesome to say that the gold record would say that uh yeah it was, it was hilarious and i spoke to him right after and he was he was fired up. He was pumped up so hopefully the same thing can happen. Three days later, you’ll get a call that would be fantastic one of the uh one as a fan, one of the weirdest things is the empty arena like you’re watching it on tv. You can’t hear anything uh have you thought about what that’s going to be like? Like going out there only hearing coaches, only hearing the commentators and are you someone who feeds off the energy of the crowd, or do you somehow manage to drown all that out when you’re in there i mean i get this when i’m competing and i’m i’m doing Feeling my best i’m in the zone, i can hear my coaches saying some cues. I can hear their coaches and then i just hone in on what i got to do so i don’t care who’s there. It could be me and him can we know you know it could be a hundred people there. I just wan na to compete. I don’t think it’ll really affect me positively or negatively be honest. I mean i’ve heard both i’ve heard. People say, like i mean it’s so weird when i’m in there, like you, hear everything your coach says: you saw with anthony smith where he heard every detail and his coaches were like go forward, go for it and then he gasped is that something that you’ve thought Of like, maybe i shouldn’t, should you know, listen to some things and pick and choose what i listen to and maybe not push myself too much. I’Ve got a good dynamic, my coaches, they don’t overcoach, they let me get in the flow they give me the zone. They give me the cues. I need to hone in on what i need to do to flow and do my thing. So i don’t think that’s an issue for me. Maybe uh certain guys certain dynamics, but i’m pretty confident that when i get in there, i want to hear what i need to hear and do what i need to do for people who aren’t necessarily familiar with your fight style. Is there a fighter in the ufc or bellator that you can compare yourself to whether they currently fight or whether they’re retired? Is there someone that you’re like kind of fight similar to him? You know what i think i got bits and pieces of a lot of good guys. I think um. I’Ve got a lot of speed and i got a lot of range and i got a lot of power. I can hurt people and knock them down with my striking but uh. I think my top control. My opponents will tell you is pretty rough and i like to do a lot of damage on top, so i’m not just going to try to blink. You keep you down, i’m trying to put elbows through your head, i’m trying to knee through your body i’m trying to take limbs home um. I have active aggressive ground and pound and i can put you on the ground explosively and i can hurt you on the feet. So i guess you know bits of maybe khabib ish with the with the top control on the ground and pound, because i like how active he is he’s not a blanket type guy but uh on the feet. I think the way i strike and set up my takedowns um, i don’t know who else is doing that. To be honest, not the way i do it, so i’m excited to get out there and try this skill set, that i’ve kind of created and meddled and put together and see how these top guys can react to it. One of the things that stood out to me was, you said you don’t know much about your opponent and i think that’s very um significant, especially when you’re coming up is that there isn’t much tape, it’s hard to find tapes hard to find footage. Do you think? That’S beneficial to not know, so you can focus on your own skill or do you think it’s you know it would be nice to kind of be able to watch and learn and try to figure out where their mistakes are. No. No. I actually honestly, i watch a ton of film. I love looking at people figuring out what they do, what their habits are, what the trends are with. The weakness are breaking down my coaches, but in my experience i’ve got a lot of guys to pull out last minute, so i started looking at film a little bit closer um. I don’t really uh i i could have a different opponent next tomorrow for all i know, so i’m just focusing right now on the things i can do well, because again, my hope is right. After this fight i get that call to the ufc. So i want to make sure all my a game weapons are sharp and i’m not doing anything specific for this guy. I plan to go, get a win and be dominant and uh to go to the guy after that, as well. I’Ve built this platform. It’S a small platform, but i built it based on making predictions on fights. So after an event, i would say this person should fight this person. Is there someone whether they currently fight whether they used to fight got like bj penn? Is there anybody that you’re? Like you know what i would have loved to test my skills against that person before it’s all said and done: oh okay, guy man, uh, that’s the price man. It doesn’t have to be a dislike. It doesn’t have to be anybody. You hate it could just be someone that you’re, like you know what i think that guy would give me a run for my money, that would that guy would really bring bring out the best of me. It could be anything you well, i’m like i said, i’m a guy watched a lot of film and max holloway has been on the top of the division for a while. I i’ve always wondered how i would do with a guy like that. He’S got a ton of volume, a ton of pressure, but he really hasn’t gone against a guy who’s got my sort of active, aggressive top control. I wonder how he can deal with that. He might be a beast there, but i’d like to find out. So, let’s that’s a guy who i like to test myself against. I know that’s a couple fights down the road, hey man! I would love that one before it’s all said and done and he’s a young guy, so i’m sure we’ll be in the ufc for a long time together. That would be a great fight to have yeah he’s uh. I think he’s technically one of the best guys in the world. He showed it. I thought he won his last fight. He looked so good yeah, he looks fantastic and you know i got one more for you. I know he’s not a bantamweight but frankie edgar’s, another guy. I’Ve always admired him as well. Both i mean both these guys great strikers, good talent, but i’ve always wondered how i’d match up with his his style as well, see how the wrestling collides and and uh how he deals with somebody trying to put the pressure on him like that. Yeah two future hall of famers with that i’d love that it’d be awesome. That would be a frank, an honor to fight them. I think those are two guys who i would really enjoy that to mix it up with yeah frankie might be done before uh. Before sooner rather than later, but yeah or who knows, you might be at flyweight by the time we get in there all over the place, though, might be at adam. Wait. You never know yeah. That is the beast uh. Another thing i made my platform on was making predictions so there’s a big fight, two big fights coming up. Israel addisonia is fighting paulo costa. I know it’s not in your division, but i mean everybody’s gon na have their eyes peeled for that one. What what’s your prediction for that fight? Oh man, you know what i think. That’S gon na be a really cool one. That’S one of the most exciting middleweight fights i’ve. I can imagine, since i don’t know, when might be the most exciting 200 feet of guys coming in there. I think uh, i’m gon na go without a sonya. I think cosa is a bruiser that dude’s scary, that’s a that’s a guy who i’m glad there’s weight classes, that’s for sure, but um. I think audania’s got the the sharper striking um but hey man. I want to definitely be on the edge of my seat. For that one and then i’ll ask you a couple more questions and then i’ll, let you go yeah i have to. I have to ask um i’ve been asking people this. I want to hear everybody’s like just hear different people’s perspectives. Who do you have this goat? I’M canadian, so i always say: george st pierre: it’s like you know what gsp gsp i say, jon jones as well, because i think his legacy and the level of competition is so so above everybody else. But as someone who’s been in there, someone who’s who’s fought. I’Ve never fought so this is just as a fan uh who do you have his goat and why not? Let’S go you know what that’s hard man, especially with the different weight classes, different competition? I would uh. I would go gsp over jon jones. That’S for sure. I think uh welterweight’s a little bit stiffer competition. I think he’s fought tougher guys there um there’s some it’s tough, because it’s tough because there’s some guys out there who are really great runs oops, i’m sorry, my things flash low battery there we go. Um really good, runs out there, but you know they didn’t stop. While they’re on top and they took losses, so it kind of puts almost a shadow on their name, even though i have a great legacy, gsp is a guy who uh i got ta respect how he did it. He went out on top and uh. Who else can really say that in the sport, so i think i’d have to give it to him. Um john jones, though he’s still in there so he’s got time to definitely put a stamp on there. So we’ll see what happens yeah i mean if he beats stipe at heavyweight and then retires. That’S yeah yeah and he’s undefeated technically technically, not but he’s uh. He is undefeated i’ll. Ask you a couple i’ll: ask you this um, so for people who have watched you, what can we expect? How are you gon na get it done? You know what i’m gon na go out there. I’M gon na do my thing. I’M gon na see what materializes i think, uh i’m really hoping to get a. I like mixing up finishing a different way. Each time. I’D like to uh get a slam knockout, i think that’d be sweet. We’Ve got some nasty suplexes that have been coming out, but people as soon as you’re surviving, so i might actually throw them a little meaner um. I would love one of those. I’D also like to get a leg. Kick tko. I don’t know that’s cool, but there’s something satisfying about it. So i’d love to put a guy down like that. We’Ll see what happens. I’M sure you get the call right away if you uh, if you manage to slam someone and get a knockout, i think you’d get to call the contender series or straight to the ufc. Then all right i’ll, give you uh i’ll. Give you a chance here to to kind of plug yourself. Where can people find you what’s your twitter? What’S your instagram? Okay, um! Oh! That’S a good question! This that’s out of my song here uh! You can tell i’m not a good social media guy. I don’t tweet, i definitely don’t tweet my wife’s telling me already in the corner, like don’t even worry about that one uh adley edwards is my instagram uh. That’S probably the best way to stay up to date, as you can on what i’m doing. Um definitely go for that, and i think that’s about all i use is that right watch give me a thumbs up over here. All right, all right, awesome! Thank you for the time man. I appreciate it and all the best of luck on october 3rd stay safe, stay, healthy, wash your hands, don’t catch anything, so you got it man. I appreciate the time man thanks for the interview all right man, all the best all right take care, dude, bye,

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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