“I do know I like watching him fight. I've watched him of course since my opponent got changed to him, but I've watched his fights in the past and I like watching him. He's fun to watch. He's bringing his karate style to MMA, so it's fun to look at, fun to watch. But I feel good about it, you know,” Edwards to MMAWeekly.com content partner Knockout Radio about his opponent.
Edwards was originally supposed to face Spencer Fisher on July 27, but an injury forced Fisher out of the bout 16 days before the event.
“I think he's a little more athletic. Spencer's an athletic guy, but I don't think he is as dynamic,” said Edwards when comparing his new opponent to his original one.
“I think Cruickshank is a little more along my skill set as far as his athleticism or how dynamic he can be, but I don't think that is going to surprise me at all. We've got a lot of really tough, young guys at ATT that are phenomenally dynamic, so I'm not going to be surprised by anything,” he said. “And at the same time, he's bringing that youth and his exuberance to the cage, which is a little different than for guys like me and Spencer, but I think that that experience is going to play a big part on next Saturday night.”
Edwards had to make adjustments in his preparation with the opponent change, but nothing significant.
“The only thing I feel I need to do is get my timing back down for an orthodox guy. Yeah, I know he switches his leads sometimes, but his base is orthodox. I'm not too concerned with anything else. For me it's never too big a deal because in the end, I'm always training for the best guy in whatever aspect of the fight. So when it comes to changing opponents, it's not a big deal,” said the 36-year-old veteran.
“The only difference this time, well I guess there are two differences this time, is that Spencer was a south paw and Cruickshank is more of an orthodox fighter, even though he changes stances and the striking style. Spencer is more of a traditional boxer and Daron is more of a karate guy. He throws a lot more kicks than Spencer does and he likes to keep the range, but I like to fight at range too, you know? So, that's not going to change too much for me, but just knowing that those are the things that he's looking to do, I just mix those into the last few days of my training camp and I'll be good to go.”
While Edwards has much more experience than Cruickshank inside the Octagon, fighting isn’t the only way to gain experience.
“I think the UFC experience does matter to some degree, but there's a point now when you've had enough fights in the UFC that the experience is a wash until things get deep, until you get late in the fight. And he's had one fight that went deep and I don't know if he picked anything up from that, but if we go there, then I'm definitely going to test him in that area,” said Edwards.
“As far as saying me having four times as many fights as him, I don't know what type of competition he's been doing other than this. He might have been competing in high school. I know he wrestled, I'm assuming he wrestled in high school. I know wrestling is big in Michigan. And coming from a family of martial artists, I'm sure he's been competing for a long time. So competition is competition. I remember when I fought Hermes Franca the first time. I had a lot more fights than him. But it dawned on me at that point that all the jiu-jitsu matches that he's had, he's probably had over 100 jiu-jitsu matches, and all though jiu-jitsu isn't a fight, I feel the competition aspect of it prepares you to go out there and compete. As long as you are training properly, you know how to compete,” he added.
The Edwards vs. Cruickshank bout is part of the preliminary portion of the UFC on Fox 8 fight card and will air on FX prior to the main card on Fox.