The #3 ranked UFC welterweight contender, Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards has claimed that former two-time title challenger, the #6 ranked, Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal rejected the possibility of staging their long-awaited UFC 269 pairing on December 11. over the course of five rounds, rather than three.
Undefeated in his last 10 consecutive Octagon walks, the #3 ranked Edwards finally draws Miami favorite, Masvidal in a December grudge match — with the victor likely inserting themselves into title contention against either reigning champion, Kamaru Usman, or the former interim titleholder, upcoming title challenger, Colby Covington — with the two headlining UFC 268 next month.
Speaking with MMA reporter, Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour this week, Edwards explained how he asked the UFC to sanction the bout to take place over the course of five rounds in December. However, he believes Masvidal rejected that request.
“I thought he (Jorge Masvidal) would’ve went running to be fair, you know,” Edwards said. “These last three years, all he did was make excuses. I asked the UFC for a five round fight with him. I think he turned around and said he wanted three rounds, so that’s the reason we’re where we’re at, so three rounds now. Either way, a fight’s a fight, put me in there against him, and we’ll see the outcome, you know.“
“I believe so, I haven’t fought three rounds for a long time now, Ariel,” Edwards replied when asked if he thought Masvidal rejected a five round fight with him. “My last, what — five fights have been five rounds? I’m looking forward to doing the three (rounds) though, I’ll be able to sprint the three.“
The promotion has booked the grudge match between the two as part of the UFC 269 main card, with a pair of championship bouts taking curtain closing status at the December 11. event.
However, despite the bout’s placement on the card, the promotion has so far featured two fights this year which were sanctioned to take place over the course of five rounds, with no title on the line, as well as the fact either bout did not hold headlining honors.
The first of those bouts actually contained the aforenoted, Edwards, who took home a unanimous decision victory over common-foe, Nate Diaz back at UFC 263 in June at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
For Masvidal, the American Top Team staple’s most recent Octagon victory came in the form of a third round doctor’s stoppage win over Diaz at UFC 245 in November 2019, in a symbolic BMF championship bout.
The veteran knockout artist has since unsuccessfully challenged for welterweight gold twice, the last of which, in a stunning second round knockout loss to common-opposition, Usman in the main event of UFC 261 back in April.
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