Following the fiasco that was the no-contest against Belal Muhammad at UFC Vegas 21, Leon Edwards appears to have come to terms with the reality that a title shot is not going to happen anytime soon.
Unless, that is, he manages to find another contender in line to take out.
In a recent episode of Joe Rogan’s podcast, Edwards revealed that he and his team are focused on a matchup against former title challenger Colby Covington, currently standing at #1 in the UFC’s official rankings. Not only that, but he wants that fight as soon as humanly possible.
“I’d like to be back straight away,” Edwards said. “The fight (with Muhammad) was one round. I didn’t get to get in my flow. (I want to fight) straight away, really. I feel like May. We’re trying to get Colby Covington, so we’ll see what he says. So May, early June. We’ll see. But I want to be active this year. I had a long year-and-a-half off, so if we can bang them out, I’m going to keep banging them out.”
Not only has Edwards expressed his personal distaste for Covington due to his brash and offensive remarks in the past, but this fight is interesting since management had attempted to set it up previously. Covington has refused to fight Edwards in the past, leading to some very valid criticism (including from champion Kamaru Usman). While Covington’s recent reasoning regarding his refusal has been more coherent and entirely reasonable, it would be a perfect moment to set this up.
It would benefit Covington greatly to take this match, seeing as his only fight and win since being finished by Usman was to a Tyron Woodley that hasn’t won a fight since 2018. Not only that, but Woodley hasn’t looked the same since that fight against Usman, so it’s a tough sell to put him in the title picture off the strength of that win alone. Yet a win over Edwards would snap Leon’s 8-fight win streak and make a stronger case for Covington to be nudged closer to a rematch against Usman.
It all boils down to whether the UFC makes this worth Covington’s time in terms of finances, as well as Covington deciding to ultimately bite the bullet and fight the man that’s been trying to fight him for some time. Well, that and how much prep time he’ll have. For his part, Edwards seems like he’s been ready and wants to get that work in sooner than later.
We’ll see if it happens, and we’ll be watching when it does.