The standard formula may say a 35-year old Mixed Martial Artist with nearly sixty professional fights is past his prime or “over the hill” as it were. However, UFC lightweight Yves Edwards has never fit into any mold other than those of a well-rounded fighter.

Fresh off an October knockout of Rafaello Oliveira, Edwards’ next challenge comes this weekend against Ultimate Fighter 13 winner Tony Ferguson who impressed the world a few months back by breaking Aaron Riley’s jaw at UFC 135. It’s one the native Texan greets with open arms and a gas tank with more fuel left in it than people with half of his experience would have.

“A few years ago, that might have made me feel old, but I’ve heard it so much lately,” explained Edwards in an interview with the UFC’s website. “I work out with so many guys that were in high school when I was fighting, and that’s the way it is now. But I don’t feel old. I still feel like I did in my first UFC fight and I keep plugging away. But when people say ”˜man, I used to watch this guy when I was in high school,’ I think at this point, I guess I take it as a compliment that I’m still around.”

Edwards credits the secret of longevity to a number of factors including lifestyle choices and the modern age in general.

“They say 40 is the new 30, or something like that, and I don’t necessarily agree with that ”“ I think 40 is 40,” said Edwards with a laugh. “But I think the way the world is now, people are competitive longer, people are healthy longer, and with better food, better medicine, and better things like that, guys are able to compete at a higher level for a longer amount of time. You get guys like Junior Seau, who just recently retired, and they say you can’t play 14-15 years in the NFL, but he did. And it has to do with how well you take care of yourself, the people you surround yourself with, and the way you train. You have to find that middle ground where you’re pushing yourself constantly and constantly improving, but at the same time, you’re not breaking your body down and putting yourself in harm’s way.”

And, like Ferguson or any other fighter still in his twenties, Edwards has the same end-goal in mind with no timetable on giving up in terms of achieving it.

“I’m trying to get to the top,” the 41-17-1 journeyman revealed. “There’s no other reason to do it. It’s like a tournament with a million guys in it, so it’s not likely that everybody’s gonna get a shot to get to the top, but I’m gonna shoot for as high as I can possibly get, and a title shot is the ultimate goal. If I fall short of that, it’s to get as high as I can possibly get before I’m all done.”

Edwards and Ferguson fight on the Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale main card this Saturday night at 8:00 PM EST on Spike TV. The show is headlined by Jason Miller and Michael Bisping settling their personal differences and attempting to move into the upper-echelon of title contendership.

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