Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender Stephen Thompson is currently ranked No. 5 in the official rankings, but that doesn’t appear to be high enough for snooty title contender and No. 3-ranked Leon Edwards.
That’s probably why “Rocky” rejected Thompson’s recent (and polite) callout.
“As far as Wonderboy, he got knocked out like a fight ago,” Edwards told MMA Fighting. “Pettis knocked him out one fight ago. If I go out there right now and I fight Wonderboy and I beat Wonderboy the UFC will be like ‘let’s go one more in the top-five and then we’ll go for a title.’ They wouldn’t give me a title shot straight away.”
Thompson (15-4-1), a two-time title contender, was knocked out by Anthony Pettis back in March 2019 but rebounded with a commanding decision win over Vicente Luque later that year. Edwards (18-3), meanwhile, has captured eight straight dating back to early 2016.
“I have to fight someone in the Top 4 to get my title shot,” Edwards continued. “I’ve done all the Wonderboy fights. I’ve been there, done it. I’m on an eight-fight win streak now. I don’t need to go fight someone like Wonderboy. He does nothing for my career. He’s coming down, I’m going up. If he gets one or two more wins, then I’ll consider it.”
That leaves Edwards with Gilbert Burns, Colby Covington, and Jorge Masvidal. Burns is getting an immediate title shot and the promotion is looking at booking Covington vs. Masvidal, so “Rocky” can either soften his stance or enjoy another long vacation.