Leon Edwards has joined forces with fellow MMA fighters Darren Till and Jimi Manuwa to help prevent knife crime among the British youth. It was announced on May 1 the three fighters would be linking up with the government to find a solution to the issue after a spate of stabbings took place in the UK despite the fact the country is on lockdown right now.
Speaking exclusively to LowKickMMA, Edwards opened up about how he became involved in the effort to prevent knife crime in his home country and how he managed to link up with Till and Manuwa, he said.
“For me, I grew up in that same environment. I understand what these kids are going through and what’s going through their heads. I retweeted a video a few weeks ago on my Instagram about that kid getting stabbed in Birmingham – one of my friends’ cousins. So, I messaged my management straight away and said ‘what can I do to help?’ And set something up that can help and prevent this. Jimi Manuwa reached out to me literally the next day and he was saying the same thing as me and it would be good to get Till involved as well. So that’s it really. We all came from the same situation as these kids. We all understand the kids. I think martial arts changed our lives and it can hopefully change someone else’s life.”
A month since first announcing their plan the three fighters have spoken with government officials and are now hoping to launch their own program in collaboration with the UFC that will see young Brits get martial arts training and mentoring for free.
“At the moment we are still bouncing ideas,” Edwards said. “At first the plan that came was like we are going to join someone else’s organisation. Our thing is though we want to do our own thing. We want to do it in our own way. We don’t want to join a pre-existing organisation. So at the moment it’s bouncing ideas, speaking to the UFC – they want to be involved as well. We think we are going to be doing our own thing with the UFC. It’s moving forward and we are getting more people involved which is good.”
“It’s about getting them into martial arts. Some of these kids don’t have money to come to the gym and can’t afford the memberships. So somehow we are trying to get it so the government can help us get these kids in the gym for free basically by covering the costs and we teach them, we mentor them and use the UFC to help as well. So, we don’t really have a timeline as to when it will launch but I think in the next month we should have something up and running. At the moment we are just bouncing ideas on what the best way to do it is, hopefully, we can help.”
Everyone at LowKickMMA supports Leon Edwards, Jimi Manuwa, and Darren Till in their efforts to prevent knife crime in the UK – keep up the good work lads!