The March 21 headline bout had been talked about for a month before it was confirmed, but Edwards is adamant that the delay had nothing to do with him.
“I think [the hold up] was more on his part,” Edwards told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast.
“I was ready to go, he was making excuses as to why he doesn’t want to fight and he doesn’t want to come to the U.K., but he had no choice – they basically just forced him into this position and now here we are. They’ve put his back against the wall, now he has to fight an up and coming guy. He said he wanted to get a title shot, but now here he is – he’s going to KO’d stiff in my home country and then after that I’m going to go for that world title. It worked out perfectly, it’s all good.”
As for Woodley’s comments regarding the personal nature of their clash, Edwards believes that the former welterweight champion has been angered by him poking fun at his fledgling music career.
“I put out a meme [about his rap career] on my Instagram and he DM’d me and everything, and then he blocked me. He blocked me and everything – he took it really personal because I brought up his sh*t music. To me it’s all banter, he’s taking it seriously, but there’s nothing much you can do. He’s saying, ‘I’m angry now,’ and blah, blah, blah, but he’s still going to come in and do the same thing. He’ll throw a few kicks, a few takedowns, there’s only so much you can do. I’m just looking forward to the fight, it’s going to be a good one,” explained Edwards.
The top-ranked welterweight revealed that Woodley sent him a message, outlining his anger following Edwards’ social media jab.
“I put the meme up and I can’t remember what it was. I deleted it and he blocked me after. I don’t know [the DM] was something like, ‘You punk-ass, I’m going to knock you out,’ and blah, blah, blah…and ‘I make more money than you’…just a bag of nonsense, really. I deleted it after and then he blocked me. I think I really got on his nerves…but he is a crap rapper…everyone knows he’s sh*t! I don’t understand what the issue is.”
He might not be a fan of Woodley’s music, but he isn’t ruling out walking to the Octagon to one of his songs as a final wind-up before they clash.
“I might walk out to his music – that might be funny. That would be a good little dig at him before the fight! We’ll see.”
Edwards also acknowledged that Woodley is his toughest test to date.
“On paper, it’s my toughest fight, but we’re not going to know until we get in there. I’ve been there before where I thought I was going to have a tough fight, and I’ve got in there and it’s been easy, so we’ll see. On paper, he’s the most accomplished guy I’ve fought, but I don’t know – I’m ready for whatever he brings. I know everyone is looking at his last fight with Usman and saying he might be finished or washed up, but I don’t believe so. I’m preparing for the best Woodley, I’m preparing for the one that knocked out Robbie Lawler.”
Leon Edwards’ interview on this week’s Eurobash begins at 12:00.