It doesn’t look like Leon Edwards will be fighting for the welterweight title anytime soon, as UFC president Dana White would like to see ‘Rocky’ return to the cage against Jorge Masvidal to earn his shot against the winner of Usman vs. Covington 2.
Edwards is fresh off a unanimous decision victory over Nate Diaz and is riding a ten-fight win streak, but White doesn’t think it would be a good idea for the Brit to stay put after him barely surviving the fifth round against Diaz at UFC 263.
“It’s never a good idea to sit around and wait,” White told MMA Junkie in a recent interview. “Lots of bad things have happened to guys that have sat around and waited. This sport is just like life. There are no guarantees in life. You gotta get in there, you gotta fight your ass off, you gotta stay relevant, and you gotta make people chomping at the bit saying, ‘All right, Leon’s getting screwed now. This guy should be getting this title fight.’ You want the fans screaming for you to be the next guy to get that title shot. And, yeah, with the bad luck that that poor kid has had, he should stay as active as he possibly can.”
When asked about Edwards vs. Masvidal, White admitted that ‘that’s probably the fight to make’.
“That is a fun one. I agree. If there’s another fight to make right now, you’re dead on. That’s probably the fight to make,” he said.
Edwards originally wanted to fight Masvidal in 2019 after the pair got into a backstage scuffle at the O2 Arena following ‘Gamebred’s’ highlight-reel knockout of Darren Till in the UFC Fight Night 147 main event. Masvidal, however, snubbed Edwards and went on to fight Ben Askren instead, finishing ‘Funky’ just five seconds into the opening round with a spectacular flying knee knockout.
Edwards insists Masvidal had his chance after UFC London and is content to sit on the sidelines for the time being.
“I know they’re talking about Masvidal but I’ve been asking to fight Masvidal f*cking two or three years ago. Like, running him down but he kept turning me down and saying ‘Nah, I don’t want to fight,’ even though the UFC wanted it. Now I feel he’s just been chinned for the world title, I don’t feel I need to do that now. I’ll wait for my title shot. I worked hard to get here and that’s just more time to plan.”