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Leon Edwards calls out fake Usman-Masvidal encounter: ‘That was planned’

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Leon Edwards isn’t impressed by the recent Masvidal-Usman encounter, calling it just another example of the current ‘WWE era’ of the sport.

There’s a lot of heat developing between welterweight champ Kamaru Usman and BMF belt holder Jorge Masvidal, what with their confrontation Wednesday afternoon at a Super Bowl radio row media event. Usman and Masvidal live and train right around Miami, making run ins all the more likely. Good for them and the hype they’d like to develop for a (hopefully) lucrative fight later this year. Bad for British contender Leon Edwards, who is having a hard time drumming up press for his feud with Masvidal.

In an interview with ESPN, Edwards discussed his big upcoming main event fight against former champ Tyron Woodley at UFC London on March 21, 2019. But of course Jorge Masvidal came up. Before “Gamebred” and “The Nigerian Nightmare” jawed it up, Masvidal punched Edwards up backstage at a London event they both fought at.

Edwards made it clear that one way or another, he’d be fighting Masvidal soon.

”When I get past Tyron Woodley, that fight will be down the line,” Edwards told ESPN. “If I don’t fight for the title next, it’ll probably be him in May. Cuz I’ll have just fought so I won’t be able to fight in May. But that fight’ll happen this year I reckon. 100 percent that fight needs to happen. We’ll fight in the street or in the Octagon, there will be a fight where we’ll see each other. That fight will happen.”

It might be hard for Edwards to pull a fight with Masvidal these days, now that Jorge has made it clear he’s looking to make big money fights with big money paydays. But Leon doesn’t seem worried. He’s got a pretty simple plan: keep winning, claim the belt, and make Masvidal come to him.

”If I’m busy and can’t fight, then I guess he’s next in line, right?” Edwards said when asked if he was interested in seeing Usman and Masvidal fight. “Then why not? Then if them two fight, I fight the winner of that. Or if not I’ll fight the champ next, Usman. Then after I beat Usman, he can fight me for the belt. So however the fight goes either way, we’re gonna fight this year or early next year.”

As for the confrontation between Usman and Masvidal in Miami, Edwards wasn’t impressed.

”It’s all just like, handbags, right?” he said. “It’s basically playing. Because they’re walking for like a minute with a camera behind him. That’s just the game we’re in right now. It’s the social media era. The WWE era. That’s the way the game is leaning at the moment. It is what it is for me, I’m responsible for my career and what I need to do and being who I need to be to acheive what I want to achieve. To plan - because you can tell that’s planned - the camera was walking behind him a long way before it got to Usman. So it’s like ‘Oh let’s go do this.’”

It’s clear Edwards has Masvidal on his mind, but he’ll have his hands full March 21st when he faces off against Tyron Woodley, who is sounding eager to get back on top of the 170 pound division, if only for the paychecks.