History repeats itself. Hands down. No questions asked.

From weather events and world wars to pro sports championships and scientific breakthroughs, whether good, bad or ugly, very rarely does an event only happen once, especially given enough time. In MMA, it’s no different. Just ask Anderson Silva, Randy Couture, Georges St-Pierre, Frank Edgar, Matt Hughes or even Chael Sonnen, for that matter.

If history repeats itself for Marcus “Bad Intentions” Edwards this Saturday night, he is set up for another first-round win toward building a nice, long streak. Only now, the level is much higher and the competition a lot tougher than it was a couple years back.

In 2009, the 24-year-old made his amateur MMA debut, defeating his opponent in the second round. What was to follow was an amazing run. In his next nine fights, he had nine first-round stoppage wins, followed by a decision victory to cap off his amateur run at 11-0. That was 11 fights in only two and a half years. During that time, his longest break was only four months and the momentum was always flowing.

Turning pro, Edwards switched gyms to Factory X Muay Thai in Englewood, Colo., and had a six-month break before earning his first loss to still-undefeated Justin Gaethje in his pro debut about a year ago. Admittedly, the California native had some reservations and trust issues regarding his new team, but that turned out to be a minor hiccup in his career.

Edwards (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)

Bouncing right back, Edwards earned a second-round knockout in August 2012 and is now right back on track with another first-round winning streak. Only now, he’s a pro. From mid-November to mid-May, Edwards has had three fights and not a single opponent has made it past 1:46 of the opening bell.

Edwards last fought MMA veteran and former The Ultimate Fighter contestant Dakota Cochrane on Cochrane’s home turf in Omaha, Neb., on May 24. He entered a hostile environment as a big underdog and was able to pull off a quick rear-naked choke. While some fighters may have gotten lost in the glamour of the win, it was nothing more than validation to Edwards.

“This is where I’m meant to be,” said Edwards in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “I fought a tough fighter, you know—well-known, great record. I felt very comfortable in that fight. I felt very in control of the energy. So, my confidence level, my belief in myself, my belief in my ability, I just walked away being confident in who I am. I feel this is the level I’m supposed to be fighting at.”

Humble fighters, like Edwards, sometimes need that constant reminder as to why they are where they are. But one thing’s for sure: a lot of people out there know where he belongs and his next fight is even more validation of the respect he deserves as a professional.

On his way to Omaha last month, Edwards got a call letting him know he would be fighting a TUF winner in Efrain Escudero, fighting for a lightweight title belt, and fighting in about a month. In no way, shape or form did this affect his performance in Omaha, and as soon as he got back, he was back in the gym and right back to work. However, for a guy, even at 24, a third fight in two months has to be taxing.

“This is one of the toughest camps, coming off of two fights in three weeks,” admitted Edwards. “It was really tough on my body for a week. I got pretty burned out and my body kind of acted up on me. I took it as a lesson. I listened to my body and took a couple days off, and I bounced right back. We just had a sparring practice and I felt the best I’ve ever felt in any of our sparring sessions before this point. Mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, I feel amazing. I can’t even wrap my head around how I’m going to do when I peak.”

Well, the time to peak is now. Only a month after he was feeling burnt, he’ll be back in the ring at Sparta Combat League: MMA Live at the Greeley Stampede in Greeley, Colo., on Saturday night for an early show that actually kicks off at 3 p.m. local time. However, biggest fight of his life or not, he knows what he needs to do.

“I just have to go in there and be myself and have fun, fighting wherever the fight goes, you know?” Edwards stated. “I’m prepared mentally, physically, emotionally. I’m ready to go in there. I’m ready for a war. I’m ready for a bloodbath. I’m ready for a quick, short, simple fight. I just want to get in there, have fun and put on a good show for the crowd.”

Obviously, the sentiment is the same for this fight as the last one: just because his pro career is still only a year old, there’s no way he can finish this talented of a fighter so quickly. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Cochrane was stepping into his 17th pro fight against Edwards and trains with a bunch of UFC guys, but Edwards finished him quickly. He plans to do the same with Escudero.

“Honestly, I don’t know what the biggest challenge is going to be,” Edwards elaborated. “I don’t think that way. I don’t see any challenges. I just need to go out there and have fun and fight my fight. That’s the biggest challenge, just getting out there and fighting my fight and being myself.

“I train with some of the best guys in my weight class in Colorado, so I’m 100 percent prepared for wherever the fight goes. I have great submissions myself. I have pretty much the same amount of submissions he has, so I’m ready to defend submissions, I’m ready to put him in submissions, and I’m ready to go in there and fight my fight and put my hands on him. If it stands up, it stands up. Wherever it goes, I’m 100 percent prepared to take it where it needs to be.”

Edwards (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)

Even though Escudero has 12 wins by submission, Edwards is unfazed and ready for anything, as he’s proven time and time again. He would never look past any fighter, but he’s confident that no matter where the fight goes, if he just stays in his own unique game, he will emerge victorious. This is one of the big selling points for the big promoters. His versatility is definitely one-of-a-kind in a good way. He is patiently waiting for someone on a big stage to take notice.

“I’m an opportunist,” said Edwards. “I’m always thinking that I’ll jump on an opportunity if it’s the right time and if I still like what God has lined up in my life. I believe there’s a reason for everything, whether it’s a lesson or something to push you forward in life.

“I’m hoping I get a call from one of the big shows and I can take my training to the next level. Right now, my schedule’s open. I’m just here to fight. I’m not here to choose fights. I’m not here to choose promotions. I’m just here to put on a show for the fans and the crowds.”

Edwards only loss came after a “long” break of about six months. The young man feeds on momentum, and at six fights per year, there’s no lack of that in his life. But the bigger the promotion, the longer the downtime can be, and his career could quickly slow to three fights per year. However, Edwards know if he keeps performing well, especially on short notice, that shouldn’t be an issue.

“I’m an exciting fighter. I believe the promotions will see me fighting on their shows and see how explosive and how exciting I am,” Edwards explained. “They’ll look at my record and see that I can take fights, that I can fight and be in the cage. I can take fights on short notice. I took that last fight against Dakota on a 12- to 13-day notice, and I went in there and was victorious. I feel they will see the type of person and the type of fighter I am, and maybe they’ll give me a shot at a couple more fights a year.”

For now, Edwards will go into the cage and battle Escudero for that Sparta lightweight strap. While the opportunist will never turn down an opportunity, he does plan to get some vacation in, even if only for a long weekend.

“The Fourth of July is coming up and I haven’t seen my family for about a year or spent any holidays with them. So I’m going back out to California for three or four days, and I’ll come right back and start grinding away. I’ll get right back on the horse and continue to brawl. I’m gaining a lot of speed and I just want to keep that ball rolling.”

Marcus would like to thank his coaches and teammates at Factory X Muay Thai, Clinch Gear, Moe’s Original BBQ, Just About You Solutions, Performance MMA, Papi Travel & Leisure, Yakuza USA, Ugly Ear Fight Gear, CENergy and The Robusto Room, which is where he will be hosting his after-party. Follow Marcus on Twitter: @BadIntentions91

Top Photo: Marcus Edwards (L) controls his opponent (Phil Lambert/The MMA Corner)

  • Great article on the most exciting fighter I’ve watched in years!! This kid is the real deal!