Leon Edwards will definitely have his eyes peeled for the UFC 251 most important occasion.
Welterweight contender Edwards (18-Three MMA, 10-2 UFC) has gained his final eight fights and thinks he’s carried out greater than sufficient to earn a shot on the title.
He was scheduled to headline the UFC’s deliberate Mar. 21 occasion in London in opposition to Tyron Woodley, however the occasion was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. As a substitute, Woodley moved on to face Gilbert Burns on Might 30 and misplaced a one-sided unanimous choice because the Brazilian emerged as a brand new contender at 170 kilos.
After Jorge Masvidal’s negotiations with the UFC to face welterweight champion Kamaru Usman fell by way of, the promotion turned to Edwards, however he was pressured to say no the provide attributable to having no entry to his fitness center, Crew Renegade in Birmingham, which stays closed because of the ongoing lockdown restrictions within the U.Okay.
After Edwards declined, the UFC supplied the shot to Burns, who was additionally unable to make the combat after testing optimistic for COVID-19. The promotion then reopened negotiations with Masvidal and struck a deal for “Gamebred” to problem Usman for the undisputed welterweight title this Saturday at UFC 251. The principle card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on UFC Battle Move/ESPN+.
Eager to get again into the combination, Edwards defined he has unfinished enterprise with each headliners and says he needs to face the winner subsequent, whatever the outcome on Saturday night time.
“I’m simply pleased that the division (has) received some motion to it,” Edwards informed MMA Junkie. “For some time, it’s been stagnant and nothing was occurring, so it’s good to see them combating. I received historical past with each males and I’d like to combat the winner.”
Edwards had his notorious backstage altercation with Masvidal in London in 2019 after a combat card the place each males had been victorious. Usman, then again, is the final man to defeat Edwards, again in December 2015. It signifies that each matchups provide curiosity for the Brit, who mentioned he deserves to be the following man in line for the title at 170 kilos.
When requested if he’s anxious that the UFC will award the following title shot to Burns, Edwards identified the UFC got here to him with the title shot provide earlier than asking Burns, so it is smart that he ought to get the following shot forward of the Brazilian.
“We each misplaced alternatives to coronavirus,” Edwards defined. “For me, I couldn’t journey due to coronavirus and that’s the one motive (Burns) received to combat Woodley. Identical because the title shot: I couldn’t journey due to coronavirus and so they supplied me a title shot, so we each misplaced alternatives to the identical factor. So I can’t see why they might look over me once I’ve received essentially the most wins within the division (in contrast) to the champion.”
The title shot is the No. 1 choice for Edwards, however given the very fact it’s been virtually a full yr since his final combat – a unanimous choice victory over former light-weight champion Rafael dos Anjos – he mentioned he is likely to be prepared to face Burns if the winner of Saturday’s most important occasion decides to take a while off after their victory on “UFC Battle Island.”
“It relies upon how lengthy we’re ready for,” Edwards mentioned. “If it’s a very long time ready – like (the) finish of the yr, or subsequent yr – then I’d relatively compete. My final combat was in July once I fought RDA, in order that’s virtually a yr. So I wish to compete and keep energetic.”