Name: Leon Edwards
MMA Record: 14-3
UFC Record: 6-2
Notable Wins: Seth Baczynski, Vicente Luque, Bryan Barberena, Albert Tumenov
Notable Losses: Kamaru Usman
Last Fight: Decision win over Bryan Barberena
Fighter Profile: Edwards is one of the most well-rounded British fighters in the UFC right now. He is an excellent striker and we saw that on display in his KO win over Seth Baczynski a few years back. When he first came to the UFC, his wrestling and cardio didn’t look good, and he lost a split decision to Claudio Silva in his UFC debut. But he’s worked hard on improving those aspects of his game and we’ve seen major improvements in recent fights. Since a decision loss to Kamaru Usman — there’s no shame in that — Edwards has won four-straight fights, and he’s shown major improvements in his grappling during that time. His submission win over Albert Tumenov was his breakthrough performance, but he’s carried on with back-to-back decision wins over Vicente Luque and Bryan Barberena. At just 26, Edwards continues to get better and better and should be a top-15 welterweight in the UFC for quite a while.
Name: Peter Sobotta
MMA Record: 17-5-1
UFC Record: 4-4
Notable Wins: Ben Saunders, Nicholas Dalby
Notable Losses: Kyle Noke, Amir Sadollah
Last Fight: TKO win over Ben Saunders
Fighter Profile: It’s been a tale of two UFC careers for Sobotta. The first time he was in the UFC, back in 2010, he lost all three of his fights and was cut from the promotion. But he didn’t let that stop him, and went back to the regional circuit in Europe and got better. He won five-straight fights via rear-naked choke to get another shot in the UFC, and since then he has not disappointed. Sobotta is 4-1 in his second stint in the UFC, and in his last fight picked up a huge knockout win over Ben Saunders. We already knew Sobotta was a solid grappler, but he’s shown really good improvements in his striking this time around. He looks like a completely different fighter nowadays, an underrated fighter at 170lbs, and it will be interesting to see if he can take that next step in his career.
Fight Breakdown: I really like this matchup. Both fighters are very well-rounded and both men are improving before our eyes. Having said that, I favor Edwards to win this fight. I believe he is the more powerful striker and I think he’s the faster fighter. While Sobotta might have better submissions, I think Edwards’ wrestling is extremely solid and I think he will be able to keep this fight standing and outpoint Sobotta for a decision. I wouldn’t be totally surprised if there was a knockout either but Sobotta is pretty durable so I think he’ll likely last until the final bell.
Prediction: Edwards via decision