Marcus “Bad Intentions” Edwards has been a busy boy in the last 11 months. Win or lose, it’s been nothing but great milestones. Since June 2012, he’s had his first four pro fights, suffered his first-ever loss, had his first fight with his new camp, and choked one of his highest-ranked opponents out cold.

Only four weeks ago, at Sparta Combat League: Army vs. Marines IV, Edwards stunned opponent Vinny Vigil with a high head kick right off the bat, sending him to the mat. After a quick, lopsided scramble, Edwards slapped on a tight guillotine and put Vigil to sleep before he had a chance to tap. Even though that fight only lasted 41 seconds, the 24-year-old phenom still had a chance to take something away from it.

“I learned to just be confident and be myself,” said Edwards in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “Some of the things I do are unorthodox and I don’t have the best of technique, but I am who I am, and I make it work. I just need to fight the way I fight and be myself.”

Edwards hit the nail on the head. He’s a very unorthodox fighter. He’s not like Keith Jardine with that bouncy-arm monkey thing or like some of the BJJ-heavy guys that will go to ridiculous lengths to pull guard, but he comes out like a calculating savage that will do anything to win and win quickly. And so has been Edwards’s dynamic, yet short, history in the sport.

In his combined 15-fight pro and amateur career, he has earned 11 first-round finishes. Early in his career, most of his wins came by way of submission, but in his last few fights, he has showcased his crisp striking game with two full-blown knockouts and a submission that was set up with a nasty strike.

However, as fantastic as his young career has been, there’s always room for more firsts. This weekend, at Disorderly Conduct 19: The Tribute in Omaha, Neb., Edwards will have his first pro fight outside of Colorado and his first fight against an opponent who’s gotten a taste of the UFC. The one major variable is that Edwards took this one with little time to get ready.

“I took the fight on two-week notice,” stated Edwards.

The fight he took on short notice is against 14-3, three-and-a-half-year pro Dakota Cochrane, who trains at the prominent Omaha MMA gym, Premier Combat Center. This guy is no joke and will pose Edwards’ toughest challenge yet.

Cochrane got a shot to make it onto The Ultimate Fighter: Live in early 2012. Due to the odd format of the show, which basically turned out to be a failure for parent company Zuffa, Cochrane only got one round to get into the house and he lost by split decision, making him the only fighter that suffered such a fate.

Ironically, Edwards’ training partner, Chase Hackett, also had a chance to get into the house that season and lost by a one-round decision, only his was unanimous. Needless to say, Cochrane is at a much higher level than Edwards has yet to face, especially on short notice. Fortunately for the young fighter, he is not rattled one bit.

“I love it,” said Edwards. “I’ve been training my butt off for the last three years. In the last three years, I’ve probably taken a total of two weeks to a month off per year. I’ve been working my butt off for fights like this, and I was given the opportunity, so I jumped on it.”

Clearly, Edwards would have jumped in the cage with the Tasmanian Devil or the Incredible Hulk on short notice, assuming the big man could make weight, but he’s not going into this with complete reckless abandon.

“I feel good,” said Edwards. “This is actually the best I’ve felt in a long time, and this fight just fell right in place with me feeling good. My mind is 100 percent strong and my body is 100 percent strong. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I was blessed with this opportunity. I’m going to take this opportunity to get out there, pull the trigger, and walk away with a victory.”

He’ll need each and every bit of that 100 percent. For any of his opponents, it’s a difficult match-up, because he’s so aggressive and unpredictable. But Cochrane is not like any opponent he has ever faced. The native Nebraskan, who is also powerlifter, has finished most of his pro fights by submission, but he is also a very powerful striker and wrestler. Cochrane has a few really nice knockouts of his own.

“I feel I match up to him very well,” explained Edwards. “I’m a little unorthodox, and I don’t mind taking the fight wherever it goes. He’s not really a threat anywhere. He’s just a grinder, and he’s very athletic and can push the pace. He likes to throw a lot of push kicks and heavy right hands. Stylistically, I think I match up perfect. I think my style beats his style.”

For all intents and purposes, Edwards is correct. Cochrane is a big-time grinder that wills his way to victory. Edwards, on the other hand, is more of a quick, dazzling fighter that comes out in a ball of fire, and nobody really knows what to expect. In fact, Edwards isn’t even sure what’s going to happen. He just visualizes another win.

“I can see multiple things happening,” Edwards admitted. “I can see him coming out and trying to throw something and I catch him right off the bat. I can see him trying to take me down and I get a submission. Or I can see me winning by decision if it goes the distance, which I don’t think it will. I think the fight will be over within the first round. He’s been training hard for another very tough opponent, so I’m expecting him to come out in the best shape he’s ever been in. I think he’s going to underestimate me with my record and me being a new guy on the circuit.”

Edwards has every reason to be confident going into this fight. After his very successful amateur run, he switched up camps to start his pro career. His new home, as of the last year, is Factory X Muay Thai in Englewood, Colo., home to UFC fighter Chris Camozzi.

The head coach and owner of Factory X is Kru Marc Montoya, a former high-level Muay Thai competitor. He coaches a lot of great up-and-coming fighters, Edwards being a big one.

Last Saturday, Montoya was in Brazil to corner Camozzi’s ninth UFC appearance, but that didn’t slow down Edwards’ training one bit.

“We have such a strong team that when Marc’s gone, there’s always someone there to fill the void,” Edwards said. “We’re a team and we have multiple guys that can take the leadership role. When he’s there, it’s always a positive and a blessing, but when he’s gone, we have other guys that step up to the plate and keep pushing. Game plan-wise, Marc drew the game plan up and he gave it to a couple guys. We’ve just been working it.”

Should that game plan work, Edwards is open to the next challenge, but he’s not clear about any future with the Disorderly Conduct promotion. He may have bigger fish to fry after this one.

“They gave me the call to do this fight,” Edwards said. “For now, I’m just going to do this one fight with them, and we’ve got some things in the making I can’t really talk about until contracts are in force. But, hopefully, I get in a promotion that’s televised in the near future.”

Well, all disclosures aside, if Edwards takes out Cochrane, there’s no doubt he will be in line for a quality televised promotion. He may even be in line for the biggest promotion out there, but there’s no point in putting the jinx on him.

Edwards knows that he is on a meteoric rise, and he’s preparing accordingly. The guy almost never takes breaks, and when he does, they are few and far between.

“I kind of had a feeling that I was going to get another fight soon, so I took Saturday and Sunday as rest days, and I just came back on Monday and started training again,” he explained. “I’ve been trying to take it easy, but the last two weeks have been pretty tough. I stay in the gym and don’t do much outside.”

At only 24, Edwards knows that the less time he smells the roses, the better. He doesn’t have time for breaks, and, as far as he’s concerned, won’t for a long time. He really wants people to know that he is here for one reason: to win in exciting fashion.

“I come in and I fight from bell to bell. I’m always there to give the crowd a show, and no matter where I fight, no matter who I fight, you can always expect something great.”

Marcus would like to thank his coaches and training partners at Factory X, including Marc Montoya, J.J. Pugsley, Wade Brinkman, Randy Caruso and Brian Camozzi, in addition to all of the other guys that keep him ready to go. He also thanks his sponsors: Moe’s Original BBQ, CENergy, Yakuza USA, Performance MMA, Clinch Fight Gear, Ugly Ear Fight Gear, MMA Meltdown, and his manager, Jay White.