Elgin MMA fighter Aidan Stephen has the most important fight of his promising career this Saturday (8th December). He has made the journey to Cardiff to take on the experienced Kris Edwards at Cage Warriors 100, in what is his promotional debut for Europe’s biggest MMA organisation. This is a journey into the lion’s den for Aidan, as Kris will have the substantial backing of a home crowd.
Aidan has already notched up two impressive wins in 2018. First, in March, at Forza Fighting Championship he stopped Andy Nunn in the first round. Then in September, he scored the win by putting Paul McCulloch to sleep, via a rear naked choke in the second round at On Top. So confidence is high coming to Cage Warriors.
However, there’s no taking this fight for granted. Aidan knows that Kris Edwards is a very tough competitor and is expecting a tough night on Saturday. Kris has never been stopped by strikes and 7 of the 10 losses on his pro record have been decisions. So he is going to be a tough nut to crack.
So how has Aidan been preparing for this fight?
With his last fight being at Lightweight, Aidan previously trained and sparred with slightly larger partners. However, the fight this weekend is at Featherweight. SBG Moray has a few Featherweights who have been happy to help Aidan prepare for the fight at this weight class. He has, however, been focusing on his own game and that has seen him concentrate on his Stand Up the most. He also has not done any hard sparring for this fight. “I can work more on technique with light sparring. I’d like to get to the level one day when I don’t have to spar at all but I think I still have too much to learn”
Kris likes to brawl and Aidan acknowledges that it suits Kris’ game to do that – he knows Kris is very good at brawling and will make it tough should the fight go that way. Aidan can use his height and reach to try and control distance however and keep the fight technical.
“I’m more confident in my own skills now than I have been in a very long time. But to be honest, I kind of expect the fight to go to a decision – he’s such a tough guy and it’s a big step up for me, in terms of competition. But I do think there are opportunities for submissions too – maybe in the transitions but I can’t see anything other than a decision just now”
He also has a few tricks up his sleeve if things do not go according to plan.
Making weight is such a controversial part of most, if not all, combat sports. MMA is no different. However, for this fight, Aidan is finding the weight cut pretty straightforward. “I’ve not really had to diet very hard. I’ve still got a little weight left to cut but I’ll manage that without too much trouble. I’ll maybe have a kilo to lose the morning before the fight – but I’ve also only had four weeks notice for this fight but it’s not an issue for me at Featherweight”.
So what if he gets the win?
If Aidan can get a win on Saturday, his plan would be to fight again early in 2019. He states “I don’t want a break. As long as I’m injury, there’s no reason for me to have a break. I’d like to get back in there quite early in the new year. Hopefully, I do well enough on Saturday to impress and Cage Warriors offer me more fights”
Where Can I see the fight?
Photo credit: Tommy Morrison