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LEON EDWARDS used the cash from his newfound UFC fame to buy his nan in Jamaica her first pair of hearing aids. 

The MMA star’s journey has taken him from Kingston to Birmingham to the octagon - where he will fight Nate Diaz on Sunday in front of thousands.

7UFC star Leon Edwards has put family first since rising to fameCredit: The Sun

When the humble 29-year-old steps into the cage, he will block out the chants to think of his loved ones back in the beautiful chaos of his sprawling home city, Kingston.

The whole of the Jamaican capital will be crowded around their televisions to watch the welterweight clash, including his nan who he has cared for since his meteoric rise.

‘Rocky’ Edwards told SunSport: “I brought my nan to the United Kingdom last year for the summer and it was her first time she had ever been on a plane at the age of 70 odd.

“She struggled with her hearing for a long time so I brought her over and took her to Boots and got her new hearing aids.

"For over 15 years she struggled to hear so to be able to buy her hearing aids, provide for her and my family makes me so proud.

"I think it's every man's main goal and it's what motivates me and keeps me going.

“My nan went back to Kingston though because she hates it here, it was too cold! She missed the hot Caribbean sun.”

The south-eastern shoreline of Jamaica curves inwards and creates a sheltered nook for the capital city of Kingston.

But Edwards was far from sheltered, growing up in a violent neighbourhood and being born to a father who became a gang leader to provide for his family.

7Leon Edwards with his sister, mum and nan (left to right)Credit: Instagram / @leon_edwardsmma 7Leon Edwards, left, and his brother Fabian were born in Kingston, Jamaica, before moving to Birmingham Most read in MMALive BlogRED DEVILS NEWSStunning £91m Jadon Sancho deal AGREED, Trippier £10m offer rejectedLive BlogGUNNERS NEWSArsenal urged to sign £40m Neves, Xhaka set to leave Gunners for £16mSHE'S CESC-YMeet stunning Daniella Semaan, a mum-of-five and better known as Mrs FabregasWOOD'NT DAREWatch as Jake Paul is 'too scared' to look in UFC star Tyron Woodley's eyesCOST CUTTINGWWE set to release even MORE stars as Vince McMahon's brutal cuts continuenad for itDjokovic vs Nadal FREE: Live stream, TV channel and start time

Crime, shootings and killings on the streets became normalized to Rocky before his father moved the family to the UK when the UFC star was six-years-old.

His father always tried to make sure he was giving his children a better life, before he was tragically shot dead in a London nightclub when Edwards was age 13.

Rocky now channels his father's mentality when caring for his own eight-year-old son.

He said: “Providing for my son is what keeps me motivated in the gym.

“My father did what he needed to do to provide for his family. 

“Coming from hardship I understand you do whatever you have to do for your family.

“It’s been a long road from where I was born but I always believe God brought me here for a reason. I could have ended up anywhere.

“I will write my legacy and my family’s legacy in stone once I have achieved my goals. 

“All respect to Diaz but I’ve got big plans ahead of what I want to achieve in my career and in my life.”

7Edwards is proud to provide for his eight-year-old sonCredit: Instagram / @leon_edwardsmma ‘Rocky’ faces Nate Diaz at UFC 263 on Sunday

Edwards' father’s death pushed him into gang life and crime.

It wasn’t until his mum urged him to try MMA at the age of 17 after they were walking past a newly built gym that he was introduced to the sport.

Once he walked through the gym doors he didn't look back, watching endless fights on TV every day. 

It was from his sofa that he witnessed Diaz’s journey, not knowing that one day he would step into the octagon with him.

Edwards said: “I fell in love with it. I was so intrigued by MMA, I started watching it every day on TV.

"It kind of dragged me away from the lifestyle. I was more in the gym than I was out on the streets.

“I am proud of myself to be able change my life and see how far I’ve come.

“Diaz has been around the game for a long time. I remember watching him and his brother Nick.

“To now be in a position to go out there to batter him is going to be amazing. 

“Not only for me but mainly for my team, the city of Birmingham and for guys coming under me who aspire to be like me.”

7Edwards watched Diaz on TV when he was starting outCredit: Getty 7Diaz hasn't fought since losing his BMF title fight with Jorge Masvidal at Madison Square Garden in 2019Credit: AP

The Brummie bruiser was due to lock horns with Diaz a month ago in the co-main event of UFC 262 in Houston, Texas.

An undisclosed injury for Diaz led to the postponement of the eagerly-anticipated welterweight match-up.

The pair will now face off at UFC 263 at the Gila River Arena in Arizona, for the first five-round non-title co-main event in the sport’s history.

It will be the first time Diaz has set foot inside the octagon since losing his BMF title fight with Jorge Masvidal at Madison Square Garden in 2019.

But high-flying Edwards, who is undefeated in his last nine fights, still respects the Stockton-born 36-year-old.

He said: “I think he has always been the same way from the beginning.

“He always speaks his mind and is willing to fight anybody, it’s not all about the Instagram followers.

"I liked him when I was starting out but obviously we’re going to fight and I’m going out there to take his head off.

“Some people start acting weird and do random stuff once they get fame and money but he’s always been the same guy since I’ve been watching him.

“I’d love to go out there and finish him. He’s never been knocked out clean so it would be good to put that on my record and put me in line for a title shot.

“If he underestimates me he’s in for a rude awakening. I’m young and in shape and this is the best I’ve felt leading up to fight.”

UFC star Leon Edwards talks about efforts to combat knife crime with Legacy Youth Zones and Onside Network

News Source: the-sun.com

Tags: ufc ufc star leon edwards eight year old son was starting out for a long time to go out and his brother on the streets to the octagon to birmingham she struggled she struggled and my family at the age co main event watching him out edwards her hearing

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Liz Hurley, 56, stuns in see-through dress — 27 years after she shot to fame in famous Versace frock

LIZ Hurley underpins her fashion status in this see-through dress — 27 years after she shot to fame in another Versace frock.

The actress, 56, wore a safety pin number for the 1994 Four Weddings premier.

6Liz Hurley underpins her fashion status in this see-through dress — 27 years after she shot to fame in another Versace frock 6Liz famously wore a Versace safety pin number for the 1994 Four Weddings premier, with Hugh GrantCredit: Rex Features

She’s sheer class.

Taking to Instagram to share the photo with fans, Liz penned: “About last night”.

Recently Liz became an impromptu dog breeder after her spaniel gave birth to puppies.

Ava, two, had the brood after being mated with a friend’s pooch.

6Taking to Instagram to share the photo with fans Liz penned: 'About last night' 6Liz wows in the see through dress 6Liz recently became an impromptu dog breeder after her spaniel gave birth to puppies 6It has been almost three decades since Liz slipped into the original risqué dressCredit: Getty - Contributor Most read in Showbiz'TRAUMATIZED'Chrissy Teigen told Michael Costello to ‘die’ after ‘spreading rumors'BEACH BODKendall Jenner stuns in tiny thong bikini after giving fans peek at Devin romanceExclusiveTHE BACHELORKanye has been 'living at $2.2m LA ranch' amid Irina Shayk romanceNATIONAL TREASUREWhat happened to Frank on American Pickers?ExclusiveBOOKOUTS BUILDING?Teen Mom's Maci & Taylor drop $339K on 48-acre Tennessee propertyExclusiveFIRST PHOTOSWendy Williams' ex's 'love child' revealed as he steps out with 'mistress'

It is understood most of the pups have been found homes.

Austin Powers star Liz, who lives in a Herefordshire mansion, may keep one.

The star was contacted for comment.

Hugh Grant says he cheated on Liz Hurley with a prostitute because he was in a bad mood after watching one of his films

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