UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards’ career has been filled with ups and downs. The British champion has worked hard to rise to the top of the UFC. While doing that the British fighter had to overcome many setbacks that like losses and injuries came along the way. Interestingly, a few years ago, many people had written Edwards off while he was recovering from his injuries.
But Rocky stayed tenacious and made a mind-blowing comeback to defeat Kamaru Usman to win the UFC gold. Despite winning the title, many fans and experts were critical of Leon’s performance. However, Edwards silenced his critics once again by delivering an all-round masterclass to win against Usman in the trilogy bout at UFC 286.
Here is everything about the rivalry between Edwards and Masvidal
Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal have never been on good terms with each other for the last five years. They have traded verbal barbs and downplayed each other’s skills in various interviews. Their rivalry started in 2019 after they engaged in a physical altercation backstage during UFC London.
To explain the incident, Masvidal was giving an interview after his win over Till. During this interview, Edwards who was walking past spoke trash to Gamebred and the two fighters exchanged words. Surprisingly, things got intensified quickly as Jorge Masvidal didn’t like Leon’s comments.
He approached the British welterweight and attacked him with three consecutive punches. Ever since that infamous physical scuffle, the two welterweights have been in talks for a matchup for years. Finally, the promotion decided to book this fight at UFC 269 in December 2021.
It's on!! 🔥
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) October 16, 2021
Unfortunately, the fight was canceled last moment after Jorge Masvidal suffered an injury in training. From that point, Leon Edwards rose to the top and is currently the welterweight champion. Meanwhile, Gamebred hung up his boots after losing to Gilbert Burns at UFC 287. In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Rocky spoke about his rivalry with Masvidal.
While having a conversation, the welterweight champion also expressed his regret over not facing his arch-nemesis. “That was the fight to make even after the [Ben] Askren fight. That was the fight to make straight away, but for some reason, they didn’t want to make it.”
“That’s the one that got away. That’s the one I wished happened, the one that fans wished happened, everyone wished that fight happened. For some reason, the UFC didn’t want to make it or tried making it and Masvidal turned it down. That’s the fight that definitely got away for sure.”
Who is Leon Edwards going to fight next?
After successfully defending his welterweight title against Kamaru Usman at UFC 286, Dana White announced that Leon Edwards will fight Colby Covington next. Initially, the British champion disagreed with the UFC President’s matchmaking. But Dana made it clear that Edwards has to face Chaos.
However, things have taken a sharp turn once again after Belal Muhammad defeated Gilbert Burns in what was a title eliminator bout at UFC 288. Looking at all the statements from the UFC President, it is highly unlikely that Belal gets a title shot next.
Colby is the frontrunner to challenge Edwards next and the promotion is trying their best to schedule this fight for the UFC London card that will take place in July. It would be interesting to see if Leon agrees to the July date as he initially wanted to fight in October.