Joselyne Edwards is riding high on a two-fight win streak and looks to build on that momentum in 2023.
Edwards (12-4-0) seems to have found her groove in the UFC this year, going 2-0 with victories over Ramona Pascual and Ji Yeon Kim. The 27-year-old, who made history by becoming the first fighter from Panama to fight in the UFC, has been doing significant work with Valentina & Antonina Shevchenko as of late and it has been fully displayed in her recent performances.
Earlier this week, Joselyne Edwards sat down for an exclusive chat with WMMA Rankings. Take a look at the full transcript from the interview below.
First of all, thank you from the team at WMMA Rankings for giving us time to have a chat with you. How are you? How do you feel mentally and physically?
I am good, I am in Vegas right now training and have been living here since February. I feel really good and relaxed.
This past Saturday’s UFC 281 event, what did you think?
(Sighs) Nothing surprises me in this sport anymore. I was rooting for Adesanya to win, not that I have anything against Pereira, but I just like Adesanya as a fighter. As I said, this is the fight game, nothing surprises me anymore, and the bloody fifth round this year eh (laughs). Everyone says that when there’s a strong fighter, if you defend against them for 1-2 rounds, they’ll gas out and it will be easier to win. But this year, the fifth round has been a surprise for everyone.
This fight was like Usman vs Edwards where Usman was winning comfortably, everyone ruled out Leon and then came the fifth round and we know how it ended. It’s a cruel sport and even though we think we trained and worked hard, the opponent has done the same as us and they want to win too. One thing I’ve learned from this fight is that we should always aim to finish the fights if we have the chance. That’s what my trainer says and that’s what I saw yesterday, that we shouldn’t play around and give opponents the chance to come back in the fight.
You’re the first fighter from Panama to sign and fight with UFC and get a win. What did you feel in your debut?
My debut in UFC was such a different feeling for me because it was after all the Covid restrictions, you get used to staying home, and then all of a sudden you get a call, I couldn’t believe it when UFC called me, I was so emotional. When I stepped into the cage for the first two rounds I felt nervous because of the time I had been without a fight but after those first couple of rounds, I settled in and felt confident.
What’s the story about your nickname “Pantera”? Who gave it to you?
It was one of my teammates in the gym when I first started doing MMA. I was a boxer but I was just learning jiu-jitsu. They used to kick me and attack me and I used to defend with what I knew and I used to be aggressive and they started calling me “Pantera”. At first, I didn’t like it, but in my amateur fight they started chanting this name and the whole arena started doing it as well and that’s how it stayed.
Who was your inspiration/idol when you started to fight?
I used to do boxing but I always used to watch Anderson Silva’s fights. Watching his fights motivated me to find a gym and start fighting as well.
Last two fights, two wins. What are your plans for the future? When are we seeing you back in the cage?
I hope to fight at the start of next year. If it can be January then I would love it, but there is no opponent or dates yet. I would love to fight as soon as possible. I would like a fighter like me, aggressive and ready for a war. That’s the kind of fight I would like to have next.
You’re training with Valentina Shevchenko, one of the best to do it. How has it been training with her? How do you think it has benefited you?
Training with Valentina has been amazing. It has given me so much confidence in myself, to use my legs more during a fight as we train kicks a lot. But yeah I would say training with Valentina and Antonina has definitely given me confidence in my abilities to use more combinations and leg kicks.
What separates you from every other fighter in your division?
I think a lot of fighters love to throw a lot but once they receive a good shot they get nervous and all of a sudden they forget how to fight or to throw. I feel that a lot of fighters are “too good” of a person in the cage and they are not ready to be violent and go to war. I feel like every time I step into the octagon, I am ready to receive because I know it’s the fight game and I am ready for a war and never shy away from a fight.
If you could have one dream fight with anyone in UFC or outside of it, who would it be?
My dream fight would be for a championship belt. I am working towards it in small but steady steps and I am trying to fight better-ranked fighters each time to move up and then fight for the belt. I am really confident in myself and I trust the process. Once the time comes, I would fight anyone and anywhere for the belt.
You’ve fought at bantamweight (135) and featherweight (145), which do you prefer?
I think I can still give a lot at 135lbs and once I feel I can’t make135 as easily I will move up. I know my body and I feel like I still have a lot to do in 135. When I fought Ramona in 145 I felt good as well and I remember in that fight I received a couple of knees to the body which would’ve folded anyone but my mental toughness made me stay in the fight and win it.
What’s your opinion on Zhang Weili who had quite a spectacular performance last week?
She’s one of the most exciting fighters right now and of the most skilled ones as well. I definitely respect Weili a lot, she is one of my preferred fighters to watch and it feels like she’s getting better with each fight.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career?
I would like to be remembered as someone who gave their all into every fight. That it is possible to achieve your goals by staying consistent and disciplined. I would like them to remember me as someone who was fearless and who did good for her sport and who never backed down from any fight.