Nearly three years after Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards had dinner backstage in London, with “Rocky” consuming all three pieces (and a soda), the promotion will ask them to (finally) settle their score as part of the UFC 269 end-of-year pay-per-view (PPV) event, scheduled for Sat., Dec. 12, 2021 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Expect this rule to be broken during fight week.
“When I see him, we’ll be on-site fighting, and he knows what it is when we see each other,” Edwards previously told Submission Radio. “I would slap him every time. I would slap him every time we get close to staring down. So there would probably be no staredown that fight week. The whole time, it would be madness fight week. The hotel would be crazy.”
Edwards jumped out to an early -210 betting favorite, according to BetOnline.ag, with Masvidal clocking in at +180. “Rocky” has put up the better numbers over the last few years, racking up nine wins in his last 10 fights with one No Contest, but you can also argue that “Gamebred” — a mediocre 6-5 during that same span — faced much stronger competition.
It’s widely accepted that a victory over Masvidal will grant Edwards the next crack at the 170-pound title, to be decided in the Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington championship rematch at UFC 268 next month in New York City (see that fight card here).
I doubt the same holds true for Masvidal since “Gamebred” is coming off back-to-back losses to Usman, though you can also make a case for the Covington-Masvidal grudge match — an easy sell after this falling out — but that would require dominant wins from the former friends and training partners.
Expect a lot of changes in the 170-pound division over the next two months.