At Bellator 299, Fabian Edwards challenged for the Bellator middleweight championship for the first time. Unfortunately, he was overwhelmed into a third-round TKO defeat against Johnny Eblen. Edwards, the younger brother of Leon Edwards, now looks to get back to the winning ways he was on prior to the loss to Eblen – a fight that snapped a three-fight win streak that saw him defeat Lyoto Machida, Charlie Ward and Gegard Mousasi. With a win here, Edwards will secure another chance at earning the Bellator middleweight title.


One of the top middleweight prospects in the world, Aaron Jeffery now has the biggest opportunity of his career here, getting his first big championship-level opportunity on a big stage. A former regional middleweight champion known for a tenacious and gritty fight style, Jeffery has won four of his last five and is 3-1 in Bellator entering tonight. In addition to a win over Austin Vanderford, Jeffery scored a major win in his most recent outing at Bellator 298, defeating the previously-unbeaten Dalton Rosta.


Who will secure their spot as the next 185-pound middleweight title challenger?



Round 1


Low kick from Jeffery and he goes straight into a body lock, pressing Edwards into the fence. Edwards is able to turn it around on Jeffery about 30 seconds into the round. Jeffery reverses position once more and starts to land knees on Edwards’s legs. Edwards counters, however, and scores a takedown on Jeffery. Jeffery works his way back to the feet. Jeffery gets Edwards’s back against the fence once more. Knee to the stomach by Jeffery as the two continue to jockey for position. More knees to the midsection.


Edwards lands a low knee and briefly reverses, only to get reversed himself almost immediately. Knee to the body by Edwards. Jeffery lands his own knee. The two separate with about 90 seconds left. Jeffery with some inside kicks. Jeffery presses Edwards against the fence again. Jeffery lands an elbow and a combination as the two battle along the fence. More knee trading from the two. High kick from Jeffery. Low kick from Edwards, and he lands a left hand before the bell.



Round 2


Edwards catches Jeffery coming in and almost scores a takedown on Jeffery. The two battled for control along the fence, with Jeffery delivering most of the pressure. Edwards gets some separation, only for Jeffery to quickly latch back onto him. Edwards tries for a push kick, but Jeffery continues to come forward. Edwards looks for a takedown, but Jeffery stops it and goes back to pressing Edwards against the fence.


Separating with about two minutes left to go, Edwards lands a left and tries to work a combination, but Jeffery is there to press him back against the fence. Every time Edwards gets some form of separation, Jeffery is there to pressure and pin Edwards, draining his gas tank. Edwards lands a few knees in the latest attempt to press him into the cage wall. Jeffery lands several knees on Edwards. The referee warns the two to advance the fight with 60 seconds to go in the round. After some knees, Edwards is able to score a takedown on Jeffery. Edwards gets to Jeffery’s back. Jeffery was warned for grabbing the cage. Jeffery is able to get away and lands a straight left on Edwards. Edwards lands an elbow, however, rocking Jeffery and cutting him open before the round-closing bell!



Round 3


Round kick by Jeffery. Front kick by Jeffery. Right hand by Jeffery, but Edwards starts to get his hands going. Edwards found his mark with the left hand. Jeffery level changes and goes back to pressing Edwards against the fence. Edwards separates, however. Jeffery comes back in, and Edwards lands another smooth elbow to the head. More jockeying for position leads to Edwards scoring a brief takedown by Edwards. The two return to the center, and Edwards lands another left hand on Jeffery. Another upward elbow by Edwards, and now he has Jeffery pinned against the fence. Jeffery reverses, but he appears to be acting more defensive in this position now than before.


Jeffery throws a round kick, but Edwards catches it and throws a left hand. Jeffery presses forward again. Edwards gets double underhooks in. Edwards avoids a takedown from Jeffery and retreats, with Jeffery pressing forward again. Jeffery landing on the inside. Edwards uses his balance to avoid being taken down by Jeffery. Edwards gets out of Jeffery’s grasp with less than 30 seconds left. Edwards lands inside a little more, but Jeffery presses him against the cage. The two exchange inside shots against the fence until the final bell.


All three judges saw the fight for Edwards, who earns a rematch with Eblen!





Fabian Edwards defeats Aaron Jeffery by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3) in a Middleweight #1 Contender bout