SINGAPORE-They face off in Saturday's (June 23) main event of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night Singapore, but Leon "Rocky" Edwards and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone have begun trading verbal blows ahead of their anticipated bout.
In a promotional video released on Tuesday, Edwards delivered the first jab by calling his American rival "old" and "slow".
The 35-year-old Cerrone, usually a picture of calm, fired back and said: "You are going home to tell your mom that an old and slow man beat you."
He told The Straits Times on Wednesday: "I'm trying to teach him to be cool... everyone is trying to be Conor (McGregor), but no one is Conor. "
Rising British fighter Edwards, 26, holds 15 career wins and has won his last five fights. Cerrone has 33 career wins but has lost three of his last four fights.
Victory at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for Cerrone will be his 21st in UFC. The Ohio native is currently tied with Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping on 20 for the most UFC wins.
While he was keen on making history, he stressed there was no need for trash talking and hate between fighters in the UFC.
"We have fans, families and kids who idolise us - but why would they want to idolise a piece of s**t in the media?" he noted.
"Why not carry ourselves a little better, be outstanding in your community - those are the things that should be taught more to the younger guys in this sport, not the trash talk to be a bully."
He was confident his stamina and experience will give him the edge against Edwards.
Cerrone said: "He's going to come out hard, strong and cocky. This is a five-round fight so all the attention will be on him, its a big deal. He is the one fighting a legend.
"He will get tired, gas out and this old dog will take over and show him how to do it.
"I will finish him in the second or third round... I will knock him out, choke him out, make him quit."
Edwards is known to be a stand up fighter who tries to go for the quick win, famously knocking out fellow welterweight Seth Baczynski within eight seconds of the first round in April 2015.
Cerrone is currently tied with UFC legends Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort for the most finishes (knockouts, technical knockouts and submissions) in the promotion - with 14.
Civil servant and UFC fan Llewyn Li, 25, said he is excited to watch Cerrone in action this weekend.
"He is one of the most technical fighters of the old UFC guard - from the era before Darren Till and Stephen Thompson, it will be satisfying to watch him get a record under his name."
For tickets, visit www.sportshub.com.sg/UFC2018.