UFC president, Dana White believes the #3 ranked welterweight contender, Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards should lodge one more win despite embarking on a 10-fight undefeated streak before he calls for his premier tilt at gold in the promotion.
Most recently featuring on the main card of UFC 263 in June, Edwards scored a unanimous decision victory over veteran fan favorite, Nate Diaz in the first five round, non-title, non-main event bout in the history of the promotion.
Building up quite a sizeable lead in regards to points on the judge’s scorecards for the majority of the bout, with a single minute remaining, Edwards was clipped with a stinging left straight from Diaz — resulting in a notable wobble and a period of worry for the Birmingham native.
Surviving the late round scare, Edwards lodged his first victory since a headlining win over former lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos back at UFC Fight Night San Antonio in July of 2019 — having fought to a second round ‘No Contest’ against Belal Muhammad at UFC Vegas 21 in March of this year, after landing an inadvertent eye poke.
Last month, White claimed that despite his winning spree, Edwards should remain active, and suggested a grudge match opposite former two-time title challenger, Jorge Masvidal.
“It’s never a good idea to sit around and wait,” White told MMA Junkie. “Lots of bad things have happened to guys that have sat around and waited. This sport is just like life. There are no guarantees in life. You gotta get in there, you gotta fight your ass off, you gotta stay relevant, and you gotta make people chomping at the bit saying, ‘All right, Leon’s (Edwards) getting screwed now. This guy should be getting this title fight.’ You want the fans screaming for you to be the next guy to get that title shot. And, yeah, with the bad luck that that poor kid has had, he should stay as active as he possibly can.“
“That is a fun one,” White said of a pairing between Edwards and Masvidal. “I agree. If there’s another fight to make right now, you’re dead on. That’s probably the fight to make.“
Speaking following UFC 265 on Saturday, White explained that Edwards should probably secure yet another victory at welterweight before calling for a title shot — after Vicente Luque secured a standout D’Arce choke win over the #5 ranked Michael Chiesa.
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” White said when asked if Edwards would need to win another fight. “Right here off the top of my head, I don’t know. (It’s) probably a good idea. I mean, the guy’s (Leon Edwards) fought one time in the last two years I think.“
Off the back of his unanimous decision victory, Edwards was expected to meet with reigning champion, Kamaru Usman in a championship rematch, however, the promotion elected to make a title re-run between Usman and former interim gold holder, Colby Covington — which is scheduled to headline UFC 268 on November 4.
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