Leon Edwards hopeful victory over Donald Cerrone will bring the UFC to Birmingham

Edwards beat Sobotta at UFC Fight Night London and called out Till afterwards. Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images

Leon "Rocky" Edwards (15-3) is hoping a win at UFC Fight Night 132 in Singapore can become the catalyst to help bring an event back to his hometown of Birmingham, England.

Edwards (15-3), who was a guest fighter in Liverpool last month, was impressed with the response the Scouse fans gave hometown hero, Darren Till, when he defeated Stephen Thompson in the promotion's first event on Merseyside.

"I was sitting cage side for the main event," Edwards told ESPN. "It was amazing to see the Liverpool fans supporting their fighter like that. That's one of my dreams as well; bring the UFC back to Birmingham. After seeing that, it just motivated me even more. I want to experience that in my hometown."

The UFC are no strangers to Britain's Midlands having held UFC 138 there in November 2011. Edwards was there to see an event headlined by Mark Munoz vs. Chris Leben.

"I was there because of my teammate, Vaughan Lee, who made his debut on that card, so I was watching it from up in the sticks in the arena," Edwards recalls.

"I just remember how excited I was because that was my very first UFC event. That was like seven, eight years ago, so I was like nineteen years old, so to be at my first UFC event and see my teammate make his debut with how amazing the crowd was back then, I can't imagine how it would be now.

"It would be madness now. It would be amazing for me to bring it back to Birmingham and headline the show. That would be a dream come true."

Edwards could be following a similar path to Till in more ways than one. Up next for Edwards is Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (33-10, 1 NC) who Till defeated in Gdansk, Poland at UFC Fight Night 188 before fighting in his hometown.

"That's the plan," said Edwards. "Go out there and perform -- and I should perform against 'Cowboy' -- and then bring an event back to Birmingham against another top 10 guy. I need to go out there and perform, put on a good show for the fans and make the UFC want to come back to Birmingham.

"We've got fighters here. We have got me, my brother [Fabian, an unbeaten BAMMA middleweight], Tom Breese and other great guys who would get on the card as well so that's the plan after this fight."

Cerrone, who has been a staple for the UFC for almost a decade, is considered a fan-friendly fighter and is well-respected by his peers -- except for Edwards.

"I'm not really a fan," Edwards said. "I've been watching him, but I wouldn't say I'm a fan. I feel that he's probably at the end of his career, he's almost 36 years old, he's been in many wars, stopped many times. After being hurt and stopped so many times it takes a toll on your body, especially for a man that fights as often as he does, so I think he's at the tail end of this career."

Cerrone, the veteran, has been known to just ask UFC matchmakers for dates, locations and bout agreements, with not too much attention being paid to who he's fighting. Edwards isn't buying it.

"I don't believe that," Edwards said. "He comes from a good team, so I think his coaches do sit down and watch tape on his opponents. I think it's all part of his selling point. Every time he says he doesn't know who his opponent is, he goes out there and gets absolutely battered. So, I think he should do his homework and watch the fights."

If history tells us anything, it's that a win over Cerrone, tends to propel fighters further up the ranks and sets up bigger fights down the road. Edwards has a clear vision on not only how he intends to beat 'Cowboy' but where the path leads following Singapore.

"After I beat Cerrone, I feel like I should be in the top ten," Edwards said. "I'll have a six-fight win streak, beat some very good guys, so I should be in the top ten and then have a fight with someone in the top five.

"I feel like I beat him everywhere. I'm the bigger man in there, the rangier guy. From the opening bell to the finish. I can either push the pace from the start or go all the way and drag him into deep waters and put him away there. Every fight he's been in, he's been hurt, he's been dropped so I feel like if I can touch him I can finish him."

Following his win over Peter Sobotta in London earlier this year, Edwards called out Till. But while he did not get the fight he wanted, he was surprised to see Till rise up the rankings given the weight cutting issues that surrounded his victory over Thompson.

"I think he should have made weight to even be considered to move up the ranks," Edwards said. "He's at No. 2 now so he should have made weight before they even moved him up. Realistically it wasn't a welterweight bout because he came in 4lbs heavier, so I think they should've left him where he was."

Edwards also added his voice to the growing chorus of fighters who want official weigh-ins to remain in the morning rather than moved back to the previous time slot of 4pm.

"I think the morning weigh-in is way better," Edwards said. "The morning weigh-ins were brought in to make fighters rehydrate for longer which is safer when you're fighting. I don't think you should punish fighters due to a certain few that make mistakes and miss weight. I agree 100 percent that the morning weigh-ins should stay as it is."