“Bad Intentions” is the perfect moniker for a fighter that has made a habit of dismantling most of his opponents by any means possible in less than ninety seconds. Despite his nickname, Marcus Edwards has nothing but good intentions for his life and his career.
Edwards, originally from California, trains under the tutelage of former kickboxer Marc Montoya out of Factory X Muay Thai in Englewood, Colo. The 23-year-old phenom went 11-0 as an amateur, finishing ten of his opponents in the first round with only one fight going to decision.
Edwards opened his pro career with his first fight under the Factory X team, and it didn’t go exactly as he wanted it to. He dropped a decision to Justin Gaethje, which hurt a bit, but it was a great learning experience for the young fighter.
“I learned a lot,” said Edwards in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “Not so much my game, but my listening to my coaches and believing in myself as a pro and a five-minute fighter, instead of just three minutes. I learned that I can fight three five-minute rounds from bell-to-bell, and still have energy at the end to keep pushing. I learned to not hold back. My first pro fight, I held back a little. It was my first fight that I went against my game plan and didn’t listen to my coaches. I learned that I need to stay calm and collected and listen to my coaches.”
Although the loss was his first, which is always a tough one, Edwards understands that he could have done better.
“I just had a lack of trust, because I just came to this team after leaving another team,” Edwards admitted. “I had just left before my first pro fight. After that loss, my new team just supported me and brought me right back and showed that they loved and cared and were through me for thick and thin. These are my friends away from my family.”
Most of Edwards’ family is in the San Bernardino Valley in California. While it is not always easy being away from family, he has made a great home in Colorado with a very supportive team at Factory X.
By his second pro fight, Edwards had begun to build those familial bonds with his new team and coaches, and the outcome was much different. His second fight was against Dustin Center, which Edwards won decisively with a second-round knockout.
“We knew he was a wrestler and was going to come out and take me down, so we just wanted to play around there,” Edwards explained. “We wanted to see where I was as a well-rounded mixed martial artist and not just a stand-up fighter. You know, fight the wrestler and see where he goes and see where I’m at with my wrestling as an MMA fighter. I learned that going against a strong wrestler I am still dominant with my athletic ability and my different transitioning and hip movements.”
After one round of feeling his wrestling-based opponent, Edwards took advantage of what he’s good at, and it paid off big time.
“I expected to go a little bit longer into the second round, but I ended up hitting with a straight left and he went down,” the young fighter said. “It was an exciting thing to just hurry up and finish and get it done with.”
And get it done, he did.
So, now, at only 23, Edwards is 1-1 as a pro and 11-0 as a amateur. His next fight is this Saturday at Sparta Combat League: Supremacy in Denver. He will be facing Robert Simmons, another 23-year-old that fights out of Greeley, Colo. Simmons is 2-2 as a pro and has not fought since 2010.
“I don’t really know too much about him,” Edwards confessed. “I know he’s coming off a two-year break from an injury. I know he’s a stand-up guy. His brother’s also a stand-up guy. His brother’s been fighting a lot. I know he’s a kickboxer. I’m a well-rounded fighter, so I don’t worry about what he’s good at. I’m a good fighter, and I’m just going to go in there and fight my fight. He’s fighting me, I’m not fighting him. I’m going to fight my fight, not his.”
One thing’s for sure, Edwards may be a nice guy with bad intentions, but his ability to impose his will is his biggest asset, and this fight should be no different than the majority of his other battles. But, as far as he’s concerned, if it does go the distance, it doesn’t bother him.
“I don’t plan on going the distance,” he explained. “I plan on going out and giving it my all. My fights that went to decision are the fights where I went out real timid and took my time. I have no problem going the distance. If it goes the distance, that’s fine. I don’t mind. I’m ready. My cardio’s good. My mind’s good. My training’s good. My technique is there. I have no quit in me. I train every day like I’m training for the UFC 155 [pound] belt.”
Edwards has a simple expectation for this fight, and it doesn’t leave much to the imagination.
“I feel like he’s going to want to come out and stand with me,” Edwards predicted. “Not a lot of guys want to touch me. I think it’s going to start with a lot of feeling out. If it does go to a second round, I can see myself submitting him. I can feel myself knocking him out. I can see myself making him quit. A lot of guys don’t realize how hard I can hit. I used to be 220 pounds, and I lost a lot of weight. I still hit like a bigger guy and I train to finish three rounds. The only way I see myself getting beat is by decision.”
He may see Simmons’ only chance for a win coming from the judges, but one can most certainly guess that won’t happen. Edwards is a guy that finishes in the first round, with a couple rare decisions and one second-round knockout. Playing around with his opponents is not his style. Destroying his opponents is his way of life.
As with most professionals, Edwards tries not to look past his current opponent, but he knows his career is young and he wants to keep fighting professionally.
“I go day-by-day, week-by-week,” Edwards said. “I don’t look too far into the future. Whoever wants me to get the next best opponent. I’m always looking to fight somebody tougher. You know, I’d go to Bellator if they have their show like the UFC has, or if UFC goes to another 155 show, I’d do that.”
Either way, he wants to keep fighting better guys so he can keep growing his name in the fight business.
But, what’s this young man’s life like outside of training?
“I have a roommate and I spend a lot of time with my roommate,” he intimated. “I try to help out a lot around there. I try to spend a lot of time with my team outside of the gym. Our team does a lot together. We go camping, we go hunting and do stuff to build that brotherly bond. Just making memories, man. Just trying to soak up every second I have in this lifetime.”
Edwards believes that it is important to live life to the fullest. He understands that he only has today to live, so he wants to do the best he can with the time he has.
Edwards also wants fans to be very clear about who he is as a fighter.
“Marcus Edwards is Marcus Edwards,” he exclaimed. “He’s ‘Bad Intentions,’ 100 percent. When they see ‘Bad Intentions,’ they can expect excitement. They can expect fireworks. They can expect a fight from bell-to-bell. And they can expect not to expect what’s going to happen. Anything can happen in a fight. Flying triangle. Flying knee. Knockout. Submission. Big slam, you know? That’s what people need to know about Marcus Edwards. I’m unpredictable.”
Well, he may be unpredictable in the way he will win the fight, but there’s one thing fans can be sure of. Marcus Edwards will continue to win fights.
Marcus Edwards plans to get his pro record above .500 this weekend at Sparta Combat League: Supremacy. After that, his best intention is to keep fighting, but fans can be certain that he will be on the big stage sooner rather than later. At only 23 years old, the young fighter has a lot of time to spread his bad intentions around, and there are plenty of lightweights out there to be on the losing end of this fighter’s tremendous game.
Top Photo: Marcus Edwards (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)