Leon Edwards has made no secret of his ambition to be matched with a ranked opponent at UFC London.
After hearing Edwards go public with his aspirations to fight a welterweight that’s further up the ladder, his scheduled opponent, Peter Sobotta, fears “Rocky” could be in for a rude awakening in the English capital.
“I hope he doesn’t take me lightly,” Sobotta told MMA Fighting.
“He was disappointed with this fight, but if he takes me lightly he will be even more disappointed after the fight. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have a plan for the future, but I would never overlook my opponent. I hope he has prepared well, otherwise it will be over very quickly.”
After the booking was announced, Edwards claimed that Sobotta was the only fighter who was willing to sign on the dotted line to face him. As a matter of fact, Sobotta specifically targeted the Jamaican-born Brit because he sees him as being “highly ranked and very beatable”.
“I absolutely asked for him,” explained Sobotta.
“We were looking at who is above me in the rankings and when it was announced that the UFC was going to London, Leon Edwards just made sense. He’s in the top 15 in the UFC, I think he’s top four in Europe and he’s based in the UK. He wasn’t scheduled to fight, so we thought it was perfect. He’s highly ranked and very beatable.”
In an appearance on the latest episode of The MMA Hour, Edwards said he was targeting a top-10 opponent for UFC 226 following a victory at UFC London.
Sobotta finds it hard to believe that someone could dismiss his chances to such an extent.
“I’m starting to wonder if he has actually watched any of my fights,” Sobotta said. “Look at my last 10 fights: I won nine of them and dominated every opponent, but one. I lost one fight and it was a one-punch knockout to the liver. I don’t know what I can really say about that fight because it was over so quickly.
“Other than that I’ve been very, very dominant. I’ve had knockouts, I’ve had submissions, and I’ve had TKOs. I don’t understand how I could be viewed as an easy opponent. It’s not like I’ve been beating up bouncers, my last opponents were really tough guys.”
Although Sobotta respects Edwards’ fighting ability, he doesn’t see him as a needle move ahead of the London event.
“I have a good friend who is a professional boxer that lives in London and he told me that nobody knows Leon Edwards over here,” Sobotta said. “Based on social media numbers I don’t think he’s a superstar or anything, but he is a good fighter.”
“He has a good win streak, it’s a good fight for me definitely, but it’s definitely not the biggest challenge of my career,” Sobotta said. “I fought Kyle Noke in front of 60,000 people in Melbourne. He’s an Australian guy and when he came out, the whole crowd went crazy. I’m used to that and I’ve already been through it on a much bigger stage.”
A black belt under Dean Lister, Sobotta predicts a stoppage victory against Edwards in the first or second round.
“I can see a finish here,” he said. “He hasn’t got a good chin. He can take a punch, but I’ve seen some of his fights where he got punched and he immediately tried to take the fight to the ground.
“I punch really hard. I broke my hand in four places in my last fight with one punch. If I hit him, he will go down and he might survive, but then he’s in my world. I’m predicting a submission or knockout in round or round two.”