With each passing day, we are coming closer and closer to UFC 286, UFC’s first numbered event in the UK since UFC 204. The card is stacked from the bottom all the way up to the main event. The headline will be shared by former welterweight king Kamaru Usman and the undisputed 170-pound champion Leon Edwards. The duo will be meeting each other inside the Octagon for the third time.
While ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is preparing to regain his belt, ‘Rocky’ is ready to repeat history. He’s not looking at this bout as a first title defense, but rather an opportunity to prove that his last win wasn’t a fluke and that he’s the better fighter amongst the two.
The promotion recently posted its regular ‘Countdown’ episode, a documentary they post before every PPV showcasing a fighter’s life off the screen. In the UFC 286 episode revolving around the main event, fans got to have a closer look at ‘Rocky’ and the bond he shares with his long-time head coach Dave Lovell.
While looking retrospectively, Leon has the following to say about his coach –
“I see Dave as like a father figure, you know? He’s been around me now for a long time. He knows how good I am, he sees how good I am in the gym and what I can do, you know? So to have someone like that in your corner, its always the best scenario.”
Relationship Between Coach Dave Lovell and UFC Champion Leon Edwards
Just like every head coach, Dave shares a very intimate bond with Edwards. During every bout that Leon has been a part of, coach Dave has always appeared visibly fired up. He has always given some of the most elite advice and motivation to the 31-year-old in between the rounds and from the corner.
While speaking candidly about his student, Dave shares, “Leon came from the streets like all of us. Born in Jamaica. Had a little bit of a rough upbringing while he [Leon] was in Jamaica. Came to England and it wasn’t much better, really. He had to fight to get respect.”
“He’s got a very strong mind. He knows where he wants to go in life, he knows what he wants to achieve. You know we are just there to aid him along that path.” added Lovell.
How coach Dave helped Leon win the welterweight belt
UFC 278 produced a highlight-worthy clip when the Birmingham resident dethroned Kamaru for the gold strap via a 5th-round head-kick. However, another viral moment was recorded right before the 5th round began. UFC cameras captured a very intense Dave, trying to boost Leon’s morale for one final round against the Nigerian.
As Leon sat on the stool, coach Dave can be seen giving a rough pep talk to his pupil. He appears to verbally invigorate Leon as seconds ticked by before Edwards received the last 5 minutes to try and attain the welterweight gold. Leon was riding on a 10-fight win streak before heading into this bout.
Some coaches are cool and calm, some offer detailed technical advice…@Leon_edwardsmma needed a kick in the backside, and he got it 😳
Job well done in the blue corner 👏
🎥 #UFC278 Corner Cam pic.twitter.com/gjh5rrWHq2
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) August 21, 2022
After the clip went viral, the Jamaican-born was asked to share his thoughts in an interview. He explained “There’s no way this is playing out like this.’ I think he [Dave] could tell by my face… That’s why he said, ‘Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Well c’mon then.”
Who do you think wins this weekend during the main event? Let us know in the comments down below.
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