Patience is a virtue – and it appears it has finally paid off for streaking UFC welterweight challenger, Leon Edwards, who has received promotional president, Dana White’s stamp of approval on a championship rematch against reigning champion, Kamaru Usman.
Sitting at #3 in the official welterweight rankings, Birmingham native, Edwards last featured back in June in the first round non-title, non-main event at UFC 263 – taking home a unanimous decision win over Stockton fan-favorite, Nate Diaz.
The victory came as Edwards’ ninth victory from his most recent 10 Octagon appearances, with his sole winless outing coming in the form of a March official ‘No Contest’ against Belal Muhammad.
With the recent booking of a pivotal welterweight grudge match for the main event of UFC 272 on March 5. between arch-rivals, Colby Covington, and Jorge Masvidal, speculation began to mount that Edwards had finally secured a title rematch with defending champion, Usman.
Speaking with TSN reporter, Aaron Bronsteter, White confirmed that Edwards would “100%” challenge Usman for the undisputed welterweight championship next.
“When I asked if Leon Edwards is next in line to fight for the welterweight championship, Dana White’s reply was, “100%”,” Bronsteter tweeted.
Edwards was slated to settle his rivalry with Miami native, Masvidal back in December at UFC 269, until the latter withdrew from the matchup in the weeks leading up to the bout – citing an undisclosed injury. As a result, Edwards was removed from the card entirely as he cited his interest in waiting for a rematch with Usman.
First meeting back at UFC Fight Night Orlando in December 2015, Usman successfully defeated Edwards with a unanimous decision victory in an early preliminary card featured bout.
In his most recent outing, Auchi native, Usman successfully secured his fifth successful defense of the welterweight title with a unanimous decision rematch victory against the above mentioned, Covington at UFC 268 back in November at Madison Square Garden.
Amongst his other victories prior to his official ‘No Contest’ against Muhammad, Edwards defeated former undisputed lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos, Gunnar Nelson, Donald Cerrone, the surging, Vicente Luque, and Albert Tumenov.
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