This week on Diamond's Corner our founder, Craig Diamond, sits down with UFC veteran, coach, and stunt man Yves Edwards to talk about his fight career, coaching, working as a stunt man, and his love for his Diamond MMA cup.
Check out the video of their interview or read the transcript of their conversation below! We will be releasing new Diamond's Corner videos every Wednesday and Friday at noon, so check back for more awesome conversations with interesting people.
read craig and yves' conversation below
Craig: Hi everybody. We're back again. This is Craig Diamond, founder of Diamond MMA. Today joins us Thugjitsu Master Uncrowned King. Do we still--does that still go?
Yves: I like it, I still rock with it.
Craig: UFC vet, coach, stunt man, Yves Edwards. How you doing?
Yves: I'm doing all right Craig. How are you my friend? It's good to finally meet you man.
Craig: You too. You too. Yeah, no, I'm a fan and it's really cool to meet you in person. I know you've been wearing our cup you said for the last, you know, two years of your career, so that's cool.
Yves: Yeah. When I when I first saw it I was like, that looks kind of cool. I'd like to try that. It was probably like around 2009, 2010 and I reached out to you guys or one of my people reached out to you guys and you guys sent me a cup and I was sold right away, man. I love that thing. It's comfortable, too.
Craig: Cool, thanks. Yeah, I mean we spent a lot of time designing it. You know, I've been at this over 10 years. Just doing it as a, as a side hustle. I was working construction for my family business and just got into the sport. I've been an athlete my whole life. And we actually started making t-shirts. So this is like the Diamond MMA brand t-shirt.
Yves: You sent me one of those and I was going to rock it, but it makes me look a little, it's, it's large. You sent me a large jock strap and that's awesome. And you all sent me a large t-shirt and I'm not as large up here as I am--as I am down there.
Craig: Oh, okay. Well I, I'm sure you'll rock your t-shirt as well.
Yves: I will.
Craig: So anyways, we started as a t-shirt company. We were talking to athletes and traveling to gyms and really what they said is we need a good cup. So you know, we kind of started designing and taking notes on what guys are wearing, what they did, like, what they didn't like about their cups and kind of Frankensteined a system that is all in one. So I'm glad you, you wear it and like it, and you know, most of the UFC's wearing it now and they'll, they'll take a Sharpie and they'll, they'll color out our waistbands and all that. We're proud that that's what guys are choosing. So that's cool. One thing about cups, it's interesting that I want to talk to you about, so you're a stunt man or are you still doing work?
Yves: I do stunts occasionally also, yeah.
Craig: Um we, we've had a lot of requests from stunt men to use our cup actually., um was that the, I think it was the, like the new Mad Max with Tom Hardy.
Craig: His stunt double wore our cup, actually we, we sent him and Tom a cup, so I thought that was interesting. Have you ever worn our cup on a stunt,uh shoot?
Yves: I have. When I worked on Battle Angel Alita. I, there was no nuts shots scheduled in, in my scenes, but I wanted to wear it just in case, you know, I had everything else protected. So why not protect the, the, the most delicate thing that I have, you know, I mean that's the other thing, man. You can wear it pretty much all day. When I'm on set and you don't have really time to go and change and stick your cup on after sitting around for a while, you know, he's ready to go, he's ready to go. So this thing is comfortable. I like the, the, this, this, the sleeve pants. I don't, I, I'm not a big jockstrap kind of guy, but the pants and the tights, I like how you guys have that put together and I, I'm, I'm sitting in mine right now. You can just wear it, you know, you can wear it indefinitely and it's not uncomfortable. You usually don't want to drive to the gym in your cup, you know, but that was my thing. I would show up ready to go all I had to do, I would wrap my hands in the car and my cup's already on. I just have to put my hands in my gloves and my shinguards on and go cause this cup was that comfortable.
Craig: Cool. No, I'm glad you love it. I mean, what, tell me about being a stunt man. What's that like? I mean, when, how did you get into that originally?
Yves: Ah, well my friend Lin Oeding he used to compete in mixed martial arts also, we were roommates in um, in junior college and he went out to California, he started doing stunts in Texas, moved out to California and started coordinating. Now he's directing TV shows and film. But, he got me on the first film that I was on, Warrior, and, that's how I got into it. Had a couple of fight scenes, worked on that with Anthony Johnson, Nate Mark Horton, Hong Kong Narrow. And then I just continued doing it after that. And stunts is a whole lot of fun man, it's like, it's a little different than fighting, but the fun, the real fun aspect of it is like, it's like recess, you know, you get to hang out with friends, you just meet a lot of nice, cool people. And then when it's time to go, you're really just playing. You're pretend fighting and sometimes it hurts. I mean, I've done a couple of things and a couple of couple films that,um, kind of hurt, but in the end it still looked real good and worked out. And like I said, my junk's protected.
Craig: You did stunts from Straight Outta Compton?
Yves: I did. I was in a fight scene in Straight Outta Compton there's a scene where Ice Cube and his crew was coming down and me and the lynch mob, I mean Ice Cube and the lynch mob were coming down and me and my crew were at the bottom of the escalator and we started a brawl. So I mean if you, if you watch the movie, you, you will recognize me if you know what I look like. You don't need like a DVD player, a pause button. But you would see me in there.
Craig: Cool. How long did you shoot for-- on that movie for? How long you there?
Yves: So on Straight Outta Compton I only worked about a week. I was there, I was, I went out to LA for a training camp. And again, my friend Lin Oeding, he was coordinating that movie for F Gary Gray and he brought myself on, he had Tyron Woodley in there. Then we met a lot of other cool stunt guys on the show. But he brought me in for the week that I was, for a week while I was in town. And we coordinated that fight scene and we got to get into a big brawl. That's a whole lot of fun too.
Craig: Wow. And that is cool. So, how many hour days do you on this every week? Are you just hanging out there or what's it like?
Yves: Well, sometimes when you get to set it all depends on what's, what's going on, how the director has the, the shoot scene like shoot scenes lined up. But you know, you get paid for the entire day, so that's a cool thing. Whether you are in there for an hour or you're there for the entire eight hours that you're paid for. But most of the time you're there longer than that because the director has so many other things that he has to focus on. And he's doing this, he's doing that. He may film one scene 20 times just to make sure he has the right cut. Depending on if it's TV or film too. They're so different, you know. TV runs like, it's quick, it's quick, it's quick. But movies, they have a bit more time and uh.
Craig: To make it right.
Yves: Yeah, so you can be sitting around for a couple of hours before you have anything to do, but fortunately you're getting paid.
Craig: And you get that craft services. You got that food too.
Yves: That's a good way to get fat, man.
Craig: What, so speaking of getting fat and you call it, right now I'm about, I got, I got, I got about 10 too many on right now, but it's right now we're in quarantine. So if you're watching this down the road, hopefully we're not. But, you know, we've got this Corona virus going on. Everybody's kind of trapped at home. Gyms are closed. Um, what are you up to? What are you doing to not get fat? I mean, are you doing anything at home? Are you running, training?
Yves: I'm running whenever the, whenever the day's nice outside. You know, sometimes it rains a lot, but we've had a couple of nice warmer and pretty days so I've been able to go outside and get a couple of runs in. But when I can't do that and I want to do something in the house, I just do some calisthenics. I got some of the bigger water bottles, I guess. I don't even know how much.
Craig: Oh, like the water cool. Like those, those 10 gallons?
Yves: No, not the large ones. Just, just the ones that you can put on the counter and they have the
Craig: Oh yeah, I know what you're saying. Right.
Yves: I'll grab a couple of those and just walk the stairs over and over and over again. You know, and then some other calisthenic stuff. And then of course, a lot of people have the those challenges going around. I like to shadow box, you know I, we have a room downstairs. I'll go down there and the basement and shadow wrestle. It's a bedroom, so it's carpeted and whatnot, but I'm in there wrestling by myself with my imaginary partner. So I have a good time though. Whatever. And then sometimes we're just kicking back, chilling, watching, you know, catching up on doing some binge-watching. So, my next stunt, my next stunt, my next stunt job.
Craig: What, what have you watched lately? What, what, what do you, what do you binge lately?
Yves: So my girl, she had never seen Entourage, so we just literally just went through that whole series. The past.
Craig: That could take a while.
Yves: Yeah. Eight seasons. And I forgot. You know what? It's weird watching it again because you're binge watching it, so you get to see everything back to back to back. There's this one, one season when Billy Walsh comes back. I don't know if you remember, Billy Walsh the director who was kind of nuts?
Craig: Yup, yup.
Yves: Right. Um, he disappeared for a couple of seasons and he came back and he was sober. I remembered when I saw him, I remember thinking, man, this is so different. Because when I watched it while it was airing, I didn't see him for two years, you know, now it's been like 24 hours and I'm seeing him again and I'm like, there's no way he turned his life around that quickly.
Craig: That's good. Yeah. Everybody's talking about that Tiger King show right now, which is crazy.
Yves: I haven't seen that yet, but that's on my, that's on my watch list. I just cued it up last night.
Craig: Well, I mean, you're in Florida now still?
Yves: No, I'm on the East coast, but I'm up North. I'm in the, in the DMV area. So I've I still live in California. I'll be back out there when all of this is over. But I've been going back and forth and while I'm out here, I'm trading with Lloyd Irving a lot. So I've been in the gym with Sodiq Youssef and a lot of the young guys that he has. So that's kind of what I'm doing while I'm out here.
Craig: Cool. So tell me about what you're up to now. I know you're, I mean, you're coaching now. Who are you working with? Where are you at?
Yves: Coaching, I did the last season of the Professional Fighters League don't know what's going to be happening with them this year because of the Corona virus. You know, this thing's supposed to last through June and their season's supposed to start in may. So I don't know what's going on, what's all, what's going on with that. But I'm still doing, you know, my things on the side. I've got a podcast, a broadcast that I do with my man, the squid. So we have a, we have an Instagram account. You guys should check out. Thugjitsu
Craig: Sup fam? Is that, that's it? Sup fam. Right?
Yves: Sup fam is another podcast that I have on my own. I've been doing a lot of lives on, on Instagram since we've been stuck in this quarantine. So I'm just trying to diversify my portfolio, Craig.
Craig: I hear you. That's what I'm trying to do the same too. I want to get out there, talk to the guys that have been supporting us, that we've been supporting no pun intended, but and just, you know, doing things differently. I mean, you know, it's, it's not so easy sometimes to get on there and, and do interviews when you've never done it before. So thanks for helping me out and coming on, this is really cool. I mean, you know, I'm a fan and watch a lot of your fights and it's, it's great to finally talk to you.
Yves: Man, I appreciate that. That's fun.
Craig: So what's next? So I mean, just wait until this whole thing dies down, I guess to get back to normal life and then and then see what happens from there?
Yves: Yeah. I have a couple ideas, a couple of plans, but a lot of that is going to take place on the West coast. Got to get back out to California to do that. I'm still coaching, so still coaching, still doing seminars and teaching, you know I'm working with, like I said, with Sodiq Yousef and master Lloyd Irving and a couple of the guys there. So as long as I'm here, once this is over, I'm definitely going to be getting back in there and try to put as much into them as I can. They've really been helping me out too. I mean, you know, I've been, I've competed since the late nineties, mid-nineties, and now that I'm no longer competing, I kind of just been bouncing around from gym to gym, but that since I left American Top Team, and I'm not in Florida, but that place and Joe Schilling in California, when I'm in Cali, I train a lot with Joe Schilling. But here on the East coast, I didn't really have anywhere to go, but when they invited me in, man, it's, it's, they kind of just accepted me like a member of the family. So that's been a really good place to work out. So I wanna return the favor and give them as much information and knowledge as I can while I'm here.
Craig: Cool. Yeah. God, you've been fighting, I think your first fight was in '97. Is that right?
Craig: I was a senior in high school.
Yves: Now you're making me feel old.
Craig: Well, you look good though. What, so how do you feel physically? I mean bumps and bruises, I mean, anything, you know, any crazy injuries from your career or you feel how you feeling?
Yves: I have a lot of little, oh no, I wouldn't say a lot, but I have a few little nagging things, some things that come up every once in a while. I have a fight in pride against ITI Komodo, a taller guy. We fought at 160 pounds, so he throws a body kick at me and I block it. I'm thinking to myself, I get cocky cause we're about we're about 12 minutes into the fight, you know, we had a 10 minute round, this is the second round. And I blocked the kick and I'm thinking I'm beating him up. And so I'm thinking, let me show you how to throw a body kick my man. So I throw a body kick back at him, but he's a lot taller and I bounced right off his hip bone, the top off his hip bone. And I watched the video and between hitting his hip bone and putting my foot back on the floor, my foot was already inflamed. Right? like noticeably, you could see in the video, it's a, it's like a hematoma on my foot and um, it's probably like two or three minutes left in the bout, so I have to keep my motion and pretend like nothing hurts because I don't want him to take advantage of that. And put the pressure on me. Instantly when the bell rings, when the horn sounds at the end, you see me limp. But I flew back on that. My, my foot swoll up on a plane at 16 hour flight the next day. All these things happened in that timeframe I was able to continue fighting. Nothing is still, nothing was serious about it, but now when it gets cold or if I walk for too long and uncomfortable shoes for like a week, my foot just, just, it's just wrecked. So, so that's one injury that I have from fighting. Um a couple of little nagging backaches, shoulder and neck, but that's the one that I noticed the most probably cause I use my feet the most.
Craig: That's a weird one. So the, the top of your foot hit him right on the hipbone?
Yves: Right on the hipbone.
Craig: Did you ever, did it break or did, what did you?
Yves: So I got some x-rays in Japan. They told me it wasn't broken. I'm thinking it was like a hairline fracture. Maybe they missed it or maybe they didn't want to deal with it, I don't know. But I was able to fly home. It was that flight. I'm telling you man, that flight was really uncomfortable. Um, the swelling was localized, like right on my instep when it happened. But I got on the plane and it spread up into above my ankle bone and down to like into my toes, so that was really miserable. Um and, and that's another thing I got on the flight without like, I didn't think about it. I was young though and I got on flight without like any, any painkillers or, or you know muscle relaxers, anything like that. And the flight attendant, you know, it's policy, they wouldn't give me any like ibuprofen or anything. So all they were giving me for that whole flight was, she was, she was kind enough to give me ice though. So I had ice on my foot the entire time. But that helped about this much.
Craig: Oh man. Well, that's crazy. Now we don't, we have a couple minutes left cause we only have a certain amount of time. Where can people find you? Where can people follow you and you know, get in your world?
Yves: Yeah, you can find me on both of the big social media platforms, Instagram and Twitter under thugjitsumaster. Um I need to revamp my site, which is yvesedwards.com and thugjitsu.com. So, like, if you look at it now, it's pretty, it has some pretty old things on there, I, they do need to revamp that. I've got to find someone because I am horrible when it comes to technology and yeah. And, and my Instagram has, you know, has a way to contact me. You can contact me through that. And I believe my email is connected to it also.
Craig: Okay, cool. It was awesome talking to you. It was good meeting you and let's keep in touch. I wish you the best with everything. Hopefully we'll see you in some more movies soon and, and we'll be talking soon.
Craig: No sweat, Craig. And, before we got on, I was, I just got out of the shower, was putting on my jockstrap and my cup. My girl was asking, why are you putting that on to do an interview? Are you're doing that thing in your underwear? And I'm like, no, you could wear it below your pants. And I wanted her to see that like this thing is legit. So I was just working with them from all these different angles and this is a five pound weight. This is legit, real, you know, that's what it sounds like. So like, there's nothing happening here. I'm protected. That's how good this cup is, I'm confident.
Craig: Man, thank you. I thought you were joking when you said you had your cup on.
Yves: Nah, I mean, it's comfortable, man. You can, you can do it. You can wear it all the time. Just always be prepared for that, for that moment when you need it and don't know what's coming.
Craig: That's the best, man. We couldn't have practiced that. On that note, thank you. And we're going to take this video and enter it in our contest. We're doing, show us how you wear your diamonds and enter a chance to win 500 bucks and some gear. So, I'm going to count that as a video and, um, yeah, thanks again. It was awesome talking to you and let's do this again soon.
Yves: You too, Craig, and thank you for the cup and I will see you guys again soon, my man.
Craig: Awesome. Thanks man.
Yves: Peace brother.