Van Steenis (12-2 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) takes on Edwards (9-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) Saturday in the main event of Bellator Europe 8 in Milan, Italy. The event streams live on Bellator’s YouTube channel. Ahead of the matchup, van Steenis says he’s delighted to finally be able to line up against a man he revealed he’d asked to fight a few times before.
“I’m feeling great. I’ve been looking forward to this fight for a very long time – you could say for more than a year,” he told the media during a pre-fight Zoom session. “I’ve asked for his name a few times, now look. Santa came early, finally!”
The 28-year-old revealed that his desire to face Edwards stems not just from the Brit’s status as an undefeated contender, but from his attitude, which van Steenis said he’s no fan of.
When asked if the tension between the pair is legitimate, van Steenis said he thinks it stems more from his side than from Edwards’.
“From my part, there is beef. He’s the one that I wanted to fight for a long time because of his attitude. He’s got a very cocky, stupid, attitude. I believe his part is probably fake, because he does that with everybody. So it is real.”
As well as looking to hand Edwards his first career defeat, van Steenis is also looking to re-establish himself as a contender after a decision defeat to John Salter at Bellator 233. The Dutchman said victory over Edwards would put him in a position to face the American again and deal with what he considers to be unfinished business from their first fight.
“After I beat Fabian I’ll definitely fight John Salter again,” he said. “I don’t know if he’s up for it. But I don’t mind, actually. I’ll fight anybody after this fight, whenever. As long as I’m healthy, I’ll just say yes to anything, but I want John Salter next. I don’t believe we finished this fight. It could have gone both ways, and if there were championship rounds it probably would have ended differently.”