MMAWeekly Radio – Jeff Cain
Yves Edwards is coming off back to back losses to Joachim Hansen and most recently to Mark Hominick less than a month ago at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 58: ‘USA vs. Canada.’ Edwards accepted a fight with Seichi Ikemoto for this weekend’s Pride Bushido 10 card on short notice. Yves spoke with MMAWeekly Radio about his decision to accept the fight with Ikemoto. the fight itself, and his loss to Hominick.
Usually when fighters take a fight on short notice, they’re trying to advance their career by stepping up for an organization in their time of need and hoping to capitalize on the opportunity. It is not often that a fighter of the caliber and name recognition of Yves Edwards accepts a fight on two weeks notice, but he did.
“I talked to Yukino after the UFC. I was just real upset with myself and wanted to get back in there and get on something right away and get back to winning. She called me back on Monday and said are you in shape? After that last fight I got right back into the gym. I just wanted to get back on it. You know? She called me and asked me if I was in shape. And I told her yea. She was like, if you want, we want you to fight on Bushido 10. I was like, yea man. I’m ready to go. I’m in good shape. I want a chance to get back to winning, so that is just all it is. It is just a chance.” Yves Edwards told MMAWeekly.
Edwards was actually training for a boxing match when he got the call from Bushido and offered the Ikemoto match. He explained, “I was getting ready for a fight. Not an MMA fight. I was getting ready for a boxing match, but I was still working my Jiu-Jitsu a lot. I just always think you can’t leave one thing out and just because you’re doing something else. MMA is what pays the bills, not boxing, so I have to keep up with that. It was good. It just came at a good time. You know? I was ready to go and it just worked out. Yea, it could be bad if you’re not focused on fighting, but all I was thinking about was mistakes that I made and how to correct it and get better. That is all I wanted to do is get better, and it came up. Now I have a chance to show that hey, I’m still here and I’m still a force to be reckoned with.”
Discussing his opponent, Seichi Ikemoto, Yves said, “He is tall, long, a Japanese guy. I’ve seen him fight a couple of times. I was there a long time ago when he fought Steve Berger in Hook N Shoot. He was on the card I fought on. Then, the second time Hermes and I fought, he fought Eddie Alvarez, so I got a good look at him then. He’s pretty good. He’s tall, long, lanky. He can do it all. He likes to throw front kicks to kind of keep you away from him. He’s more of a kicker than a puncher. I’m going to try to take that length away from him and not let him be able to use that against me. That is really all I can do is take away his strengths.”
As previously mentioned, Yves is coming off two loses. His UFC 58 defeat at the hands of Mark Hominick was the biggest upset in MMA thus far this year. With the loss to Mark Hominick fresh on his mind, Yves Edwards was asked if he looked past the Canadian. He answered, “I looked past him some. Yea, definitely. I never really felt comfortable. I never really felt like I was fighting. I mean part of it was him, his pace, and him being good. Part of it was me just looking past him and not respecting him as much as he should have been respected. The body shot hit me. It landed. It hurt, but that was it. It didn’t stick with me. When we were on the ground the body shot was gone. I tried passing his guard, and I didn’t pass right away, and I just shut down. I was thinking to myself, man, why didn’t I pass his guard? I’m supposed to be so much better than this guy. I guess all the hype started catching up to me, and I just shut down. I mean I watched it and it seemed like it took forever for him to get that triangle on and things weren’t right. His leg was inside like a butterfly guard and all this other stuff. I just never knew what was going on. I was just thinking to myself, thinking all kinds of weird stuff. And all of a sudden this triangle is on and I’m like, oh shit. I’ve got to get, and it was too late. You know? You just can’t daydream in a fight like that. This is the highest level. Daydream and get your ass kicked, and that’s what happened.”
Like with any upset in MMA, forums lit up with immediate allegations that Yves’ fight with Hominick was fixed. Large amounts of money were reportedly placed on Hominick at certain sportsbooks. Yves had been in matches with guys like Matt Serra, Caol Uno, and Hermes Franca twice and avoided being submitted giving the critics the ammo to cry “work.”
Yves responded to the accusations by saying, “I can understand why people would ask that question especially with the odds being the way it was. But the biggest thing about me, honestly, I go out there every fight I want to win. It is like Pete Rose betting on baseball. It is about integrity. If I’m compromising my integrity just to make a few bucks or something like that, that is kind of scummy. You know? I couldn’t do something like that. The second part of that, you’re taking away from Hominick. The guy beat me. There is no excuse. The guy just beat me, straight up, so there’s nothing I can do about that but accept it and try to work from there. No, I didn’t throw the fight, and I can’t take anything away from that guy. By saying that, you’re taking away from him. That guy worked hard for that. And he had a lot of person issues that either was going to break you or make you super strong. He decided it was going to make him strong. You know? You can’t take that away from the kid. He did a great job.”
Having said that, Edwards would like a rematch with Hominick, but doesn’t see it happening anytime soon. He commented, “You want to rematch everybody that has beat you. You know what I mean? I’ve talked about it and I’ve told everybody that I want to do that one again. Mark knows that I want to get that one back also, so he knows I’m going to be looking for him. That puts the UFC in a position. They can’t make that fight happen right away because it makes it, I mean, it makes that argument for everybody to say they were setting this guy up for Yves anyway and now they’re giving him his rematch right away. That is exactly what I was told. I can understand where you’re coming from when you say that. They try and not show favoritism at the same time to make everything fair, but that is definitely a fight that I want back. I hope nobody else beats that guy until we do it again because that is just going to make things worse.”
Yves concluded his conversation with MMAWeekly by addressing the fans. He stated, “There were a lot of detractors after the fight, but I got a lot of support that I didn’t think I would get, especially after performing like that. To all those fans that stood up for me and had my back still want to see me fight. I appreciate it. You guys made it easy to get back in the gym and want this comeback. Keep sending me that positive energy and I’m going to bring it for you. Thank you.”