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Christian Edwards

Christian Edwards (@ChristianPainEdwards Instagram)

Christian Edwards using growth, humility, and knowledge to return better than ever after first career loss

After suffering the first loss of his career, Christian Edwards is ready to show the second stage of his young career with lessons learned and knowledge strengthened.

The fight game comes with plenty of repeated storylines and cliches that have more than likely been said about a majority of fighters at some point in their career. In the case of Christian Edwards, having success in his young career while training in the same gym as Jon Jones early on, the comparisons started coming rapidly.

Edwards was labeled “The next Jon Jones” and heading into Bellator 266 he was a 6-to-1 favorite against Ben Parrish, then the unexpected happened, Edwards lost. More than just lost, however, he was stopped, in the first round, in the first minute. The internet ran wild, one of Bellator’s next big prospects was beaten and now the questions came flying. Was Christian Edwards as good as advertised?

Speaking to MyMMANews, Edwards spoke about the loss, the immediate lessons he learned following the fight, and how he plans to take all of that knowledge and use it as he moves forward in his career. Although he won’t be able to right the first wrong of his career due to a positive COVID-19 test that forced him to withdraw from Bellator 274, Edwards spoke at length about overcoming adversity and applying it to his future.

A valuable lesson that was much needed

Following his loss shocking upset loss to Ben Parrish, Christian Edwards could’ve went many ways with his reaction, but as he reflected on it, he said he learned a very valuable lesson for his career.

“Of course at first I was pretty devastated about it being my first loss but I feel like it was a valuable lesson I needed to learn to make me a better fighter. It just goes to show in this sport you can’t over look anybody, everybody comes to win especially people that compete at this level. Anybody can land a lucky haymaker if you don’t take them seriously enough, and now that I know that I feel like I am a better fighter because of it. Now, that’s a thing of the past, I won’t ever make that mistake again. If I lose again, if I lose, big if, if I ever lose again I won’t make that mistake again. Every fighter has those losses that made them the fighter who they turned out to be.”

Embracing the early loss in his career

Christian Edwards
Christian Edwards ChristianPainEdwards Instagram

No fighter ever wants to lose, simply put. Every fighter wants to come into the sport, make as much money as possible, win a championship, sometimes in more than one weight class and leave the sport with their health in tact. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to say those things than to achieve them for a big population of professional fighters. Understanding that losing comes with the territory is a struggle for most, but Edwards said he is thankful the loss came sooner than later.

“If that [a loss] were to happen, I would have rather it happen early in my career than way later in my career when I’m like 18-0 or something and I don’t know how to handle it because I’m so used to winning. I genuinely feel like for me to make a rookie mistake like that, I would rather do it early in my career in my sixth pro fight rather than later in my career. It is what it is, that’s in the past, I learned from  it, I’m a better fighter now because of it. People will see very soon that [experience] has made me a whole different beast.”

The coach and fighter adversity conversation

Handling a loss is different for every single fighter, and for Christian Edwards, the conversation he had to have with his coaching staff came immediately following the loss to Parish, inside the locker room.

“Truth be told that conversation happened right after the fight. Of course we talked about it more in detail once we got back to Albuquerque but after the fight I went back to the locker room and I was hella emotional. I never experienced that before, I didn’t know what that felt like. I was just balling, no shame to admit that, I was balling.

Coach Joey [Villasenor], Coach Greg [Jackson], I had that conversation with Coach Greg and he just told me ‘I promise you Christian this is going to make you such a better fighter, you don’t even realize it. I’ve been here with [Aaron] Pico, Holly [Holm], Michelle [Waterson] everybody in our gym that you know to be great fighters, I’ve been here with all of them. They all took that loss to heart and you’re the same exact way.’ I have the utmost respect for my coaches, they’ve been in the game for so long, and I believe everything that they tell me.”

The next fight is for legacy

He won’t get the opportunity to fight at Bellator 274, but Christian Edwards has laser focus for the next time he does embrace the Bellator cage. Coming off a shocking loss, Edwards plans to use his next fight to establish the foundation of his legacy.

“Honestly I genuinely feel that people will see the best version of me that they’ve seen yet. This [next fight] will be the breakthrough fight where people are like ‘Christian doesn’t give up when he faces adversity, if anything adversity makes him strive harder’ I think as far as my legacy goes, it will be my breakthrough fight.”

Bellator 266 could have put a halt to the career potential of Christian Edwards, instead, he chose to face the adversity, train himself to become better, and make the necessary changes. Having conversations with coaches that mirror some of the best fighters to ever grace his gym, and learning humbling lessons early on, Edwards is ready for the second chapter of his career.

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