The latest Judo News offered by

Birmingham's judo reputation taken over by UFC star Leon Edwards

30 Aug 2020 19:30


The city of Birmingham has a proud heritage of hosting events. In 1999, Birmingham hosted the World Judo Championships to wide acclaim. The 1995 Birmingham organised the European Championships and besides all national championships in the past, Birmingham has been one of the cities hosting Judo World Cups at world level in one of the biggest cities in the UK.

Nowadays the city cheers for Birmingham -born Leon Edwards who is finding himself hot property in the Ultimate Fighting Championship ranks these days and is viewed as the sport’s newest star by journalists and peers alike which has largely been helped by a huge dose of ability and toughness that has seen the 29-year-old win his last eight straight UFC fights and go unbeaten since losing to Kamaru Osman in December 2015.

Edwards was been rewarded for his success with a lucrative multi-fight contract only to see Covid step in and indefinitely postpone his fight with Tyron Woodley which was due to take place on the 21st March.

At 29, Edwards still has the time to make it to the very top and is well on his way to doing so, and despite being born in Kingston, Jamaica, Edwards calls Erdington in Birmingham his home with the second city benefitting from a rich fight history.

Thomas Pardoe is one such fighter hailing from Birmingham who represented Great Britain at boxing the 1932 summer Olympics and Sharon Lee who claimed gold medals at the 1990 commonwealth games in Judoka to name but two.

In fact, the event was such a success and showed the city in high sporting esteem, it no doubt played a role in landing the city the 2022 Commonwealth Games with the Alexander Stadium the main host venue.

Back to Edwards then and he certainly grew up in the right place to be inspired to take on the very best of the UFC but what is next up on his radar?

As we mentioned above, the Tyron Woodley fight is postponed indefinitely but Edwards has been standing firm on his desire to land a title shot or number one contender slot as it seems Woodley has his attention elsewhere eyeing up a bout with Colby Covington with the pair looking like they are locked in to battle on the 19th Sept.

That has left Edwards a little out in the cold, but the 29-year-old is showing no signs of disappointment demanding a fight with an opponent ‘above me’.

So far, Edwards path remains unclear but with the Birmingham fighter currently ranked fourth in the UFC’s Welterweight rankings, he surely won’t have to wait long for a shot at the big time.

With his Brummie roots firmly behind him and still only 29, there is plenty of time for Leon Edwards to make it to the top of the fight game and fly the flag for the second city. 

For Judo fans it’s not only about UFC, there was also a Grand Prix for Visual Impaired athletes but the old judo vibe has gone and the vibe was taken over by UFC.

Fundraising with GoGetFunding

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Hedvig Karakas (HUN), Sarah Loko Guerschner (BEL), Julie Baeyens (BEL), Isabel Fernández (ESP) - World Cup Birmingham (2010, GBR) - © David Finch,
  • Charline Van Snick (BEL), Taciana Cesar (GBS), Lisa Kearney (IRL), Jun Xiao (CHN) - World Cup Birmingham (2010, GBR) - © David Finch,
  • Graeme Randall (GBR) - World Championships Birmingham (1999, GBR) - © David Finch,

Related Judo News


The life story of Kosei Inoue

18 May 2020 09:25

Last weekend Japanese headcoach celebrated his 42nd birthday. Kosei Inoue was born in southern Japan, on the island of Kyushu, in the province of Miyazaki. It almost sounds like a name you’d see in a manga. He was a member of the Seijukan Dojo at five years old. The purity of his intentions and his obsessive quest for perfection made of him not a judoka among so many others. Read more


Spain appoints Sara Alvarez as Sports Director

23 Jan 2017 20:10

Sara Alvarez is the new Sports Director of the Spanish Judo Federation. The coach is one of the first ever women on earth to take such position. Alvarez (41) won three medals at World Championships as an athlete and coached the Spanish youth teams over the past few years. Read more


Report World Championships Birmingham Day 4

10 Oct 1999 22:30

This day at the World Championships in Birmingham was always going to be dominated by the diminutive Ryoko Tamura (JPN) and she delivered in emphatic fashion. Tamura was electric all day. A constant bundle of energy she stormed to her fourth consecutive world title at one weight category (-48kg), thus equalling a record set by the great Ingrid Bergmans. When Tamura clinched her gold medal with a unanimous decision in the final, the clamour of Japanese photographers eager to snap their national darling threatened to delay the remaining finals. Read more


Japan Sweeps Athlete of the Year and Ippon Trophy Titles in Birmingham

10 Oct 1999 18:10

On the final day of the 1999 World Judo Championships at the National Indoor Arena, the International Judo Federation announced the winners of the IJF Athlete of the Year and the Ippon Trophy. Japan added to its amazing dominance of the World Judo Championships by sweeping each of the four awards. The IJF Male Athlete of the Year for 1999 was Shinohara, Shinichi of Japan. Shinohara capped a fine year at the World Judo Championships, establishing himself as one of the greatest judokas by taking two gold medals, one in the +100 kg. category and one in the Open category.. The last person to accomplish this feat was Douillet, David of France. Read more


Report World Championships Birmingham Day 3

9 Oct 1999 22:10

The day promised much with Danny Kingston (-73kg), David Somerville (-66kg), Nicola Fairbrother (-57kg) and Debbie Allan (-52kg) all boasting strong medal hopes but it all went a little flat. Hothead Danny stole the headlines with a display of petulance more akin to footballers than Judokas. Danny comfortably beat Danny Fagan (AUS) in the first round, throwing him for ippon with ashi-guruma. Next up for Britain's errant wild-boy was the World and Olympic champion Kenzo Nakamura (JPN). Danny put up a spirited fight in a thrilling contest, but Nakamura's class was evident and he rightfully won the judges decision. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
2Düsseldorf21 Feb
Result City Date
1Düsseldorf21 Feb


First description Second description Third description Four description