If Jorge Masvidal can win at UFC 287, Leon Edwards is prepared to finally settle their score.
In the co-main event of UFC 287, Masvidal faces Gilbert Burns in a pivotal welterweight bout. Masvidal has suffered three losses in succession and is on the brink of losing his title fight. But if Masvidal wins, these losses will not matter much because “Gamebred”, the champion at welterweight, says that he will give him a shot for the title.
“For sure. If he goes out there and beats Gilbert, I think that’s the fight to make,” Edwards told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. It’s taken three to four years for this fight to be brewing. Let’s get in there and settle it once and for all and go from there.”
Edwards and Masvidal have a sordid history together, with Masvidal infamously hitting Edwards with “the three piece with the soda” backstage at a UFC event in London in 2019. After the fight, Edwards tried several times to get a fight against Masvidal, but was ignored while Masvidal pursued ‘BMF and welterweight titles. Edwards has become the welterweight champion, but it is now that “Rocky” finds this amusing. He still has to fight Kamaru Usman.
” It’s funny to look back at how two or three years ago they didn’t even know who I was,” Edwards stated. “Now, I am the king of this division. Little old Leon slid in, took it away, and now it’s back in Birmingham, sitting on my table. All is well. My focus is on Usman. He’s the hardest fight in the division. He’s the hardest fight in this division.
Edwards said that Burns would beat Masvidal which would render the entire thing irrelevant. That would open the door for another welterweight contender to get the next crack at Edwards title, perhaps someone Edwards has unfinished business with like Belal Muhammad.
Muhammad is currently on a four-fight win streak since a No Contest against Edwards in 2021 due to an accidental eye poke. Muhammad tried repeatedly to get another chance at Edwards since then. This was even before Edwards became champion. However, “Remember The Name”, who is currently in the same position as Edwards in the last few years, finds himself on the outside, looking in for a title shot. While it might seem that Edwards would be able to relate to Muhammad’s difficulties, the champion at welterweight suggests Muhammad stop using social media and just do what he did: keep winning.
” Every day that I log on to social media there is something new about me. Edwards advised that you should move on with your daily life. It doesn’t matter how long the fight has been. Just move on. Although it might have been a close bout, I can understand his back and forth. However, it wasn’t close until the eye poke. He was being battered from pillar to post, and then the poke. The way he’s behaving is like it was a tight fight, it was close, and then the eye poke happened and now I’m ducking him. Move on Mate. Fight Colby [Covington] and Khamzat [Chimaev], or anyone else. You can fight to reach it.
“That’s what I had to do. No one gave me s***. I got removed from the ranking and everything. It was hard work. Now I’m here, I’m not just giving you the title shot because you got eye poked. Keep fighting and earning it. When your time comes, you will get it .”
Edwards himself will “carry on fighting” when he faces Kamaru Usman in their trilogy bout at UFC 286, on March 18 at the O2 arena in London.