Leon Edwards believes the likelihood of him being rebooked against Jorge Masvidal is now slim to none.
Edwards was expected to meet Masvidal at UFC 269 in a fight that was enveloped in bad blood. They were finally booked against each other over two years removed from their infamous backstage scuffle at UFC on ESPN+ 5: Till vs. Masvidal, which resulted in Edwards being hit with a quick combination from Masvidal, leaving him with a cut under his left eye.
A fight between the two welterweight contenders was all but certain from that moment on, and it almost came to fruition, but an undisclosed injury suffered by Masvidal has led to it being canceled just one month before the final pay-per-view of the year.
A disappointed Edwards figured Masvidal would find a reason to withdraw, so he has moved on. In a recent interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN, ‘Rocky’ explained why he may never share the Octagon with ‘Gamebred’ after this situation.
“I don’t believe so,” said Edwards. “I’m going up [and] he’s going that way (down), so I can’t see when there’s going to be a time where that fight makes sense. I’m going to keep winning. I’m going on to world championships and competing at a higher level. He’s declining, you know? So it’s going to be difficult now for us to get into a position where the fight makes sense. We’ll see.”
Though Edwards said the fight with Masvidal no longer makes sense, there is a scenario where he could revisit his foe just to put an end to their rivalry for good. Should he become champion in the near future, Edwards admitted he would be open to possibly defending his title against Masvidal, even though it would not be the most logical option.
“It’s possible because like I said, that [backstage scuffle] left a bad taste in my mouth,” said Edwards. “There’s bad blood there forever, so [it’s] possible. We’ll see. I’m focusing on being a world champion, focusing on achieving my goal. He’s doing what he’s doing. I feel he’ll probably retire, as well. I reckon next year, he’ll probably retire. That’s how I feel.”
Edwards will now wait for a title opportunity against Kamaru Usman, who he expects to meet again soon. Usman defeated Edwards by unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 17 nearly six years ago and went on to claim the welterweight championship a few fights later. Since the loss to the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’, Edwards has gone on a 10-fight unbeaten streak that includes Vicente Luque, Rafael Dos Anjos and Nate Diaz.
That streak and his performances are what Edwards said is more than enough for him to be given what he has been asking for all these years.
“There’s no one else. The only reason I was making a stop off was because of Jorge and the history we had and the background to build the fight. That would get me up in the morning to want to work hard and want to go perform well. There’s literally no one else. So like I said, I truly believe that I deserve a title shot. I worked my way up, I’ve fought everyone, I’ve been matched up with unranked guys, guys ranked way below me and I still took the fight. I said yes every time they phoned and now I feel like I truly deserve what I’ve earned and worked for.”