Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal are finally scheduled to fight, but it’s not a matchup that came to fruition overnight.
In turn, Edwards has been criticized for potentially sitting out and waiting for a title shot rather than fighting another welterweight contender, such as Masvidal. Edwards and Masvidal have history that dates all the way back to a backstage fight at UFC London in 2019. The two have been on a collision course ever since, but Edwards is now riding a nine-fight win streak while “Gamebred” has lost his last two. Things aren’t exactly the same as they were.
While Edwards has received some criticism for taking too long to book his fight with Masvidal the English contender is actually one of the more game fighters at 170 pounds. In reality, Edwards has been trying to get his hands on just about everyone over the past few years, but not every fighter is willing to step up. That, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, is a big reason why Edwards only has two fights under his belt over the past two years. Whether it’s been scheduled matchups with Khamzat Chimaev, Belal Muhammad, or Nate Diaz, “Rocky” has answered each and every time UFC has called.
“I’m the only one that’s taking all these risks,” Edwards said during a recent appearance on the MMA Hour. “Khamzat [Chimaev], Masvidal, [Nate] Diaz, I’m the only one that’s fighting and taking all these lower ranked guys. Like what the f—k is going on?
“Like I said, it is what it is. I keep doing my thing. I keep making my moves, keep making my money and eventually I’ll be a world champion.”
Edwards, who seems to be one win away from his first ever UFC title shot, is trying his best to block out the haters. Despite his efforts to fight as much as possible over the past two years it seems like Edwards is widely underappreciated. It has left the English contender in a state of absolute focus and self preservation.
“It’s a mad world. The MMA world is mad,” Edwards said. “I’ve come to realize that these people are crazy. I can’t sit and listen to it. I keep doing my thing and stay focused on the task at hand. You can’t pay too much attention to it. It will drive you mad.
“Some of the things I see on social media it’s like what’s going on? Everyone out there is tweeting and talking s—t but I’m the only one that’s making moves. I’m the only one that’s putting it all on the line. I’ve grown into a title shot but I’m taking a back step, fighting No. 6 [ranked UFC fighter] in the world to then fight for a title. It’s all good. Let them talk.”
Edwards will have the chance to finally put an end to his ongoing feud with Masvidal at UFC 269 this December and lock down his shot against current welterweight king Kamaru Usman. If he loses it may be a long road back to the top, especially since it has taken Edwards nine-straight wins and five years to get to where he is now.