Leon Edwards may no longer be scheduled to fight Khamzat Chimaev, but the streaking welterweight contender looks like he’ll land himself in a No. 1 contender’s bout his next time out.
Edwards, who hasn’t fought since a decision win over Rafael dos Anjos back in July 2019, was scheduled to fight Chimaev at UFC Vegas 21 next month. However, Chimaev continues to experience issues from a recent battle with COVID-19 and he’s been forced to withdraw (again). That means that Edwards is yet again opponent-less and looking for his first action in over 18 months.
While Edwards took to social media early Friday to call out Nate Diaz for a 170-pound clash it seems as if UFC has different plans for “Rocky.” According to UFC president Dana White, the promotion is looking to book Edwards against Colby Covington next with the winner getting a welterweight title shot.
“I think what we do now, with what happened to Khazmat, we’re looking at Colby vs. Leon,” said White during his UFC 258 pre-fight media scrum (replay HERE). “The winner of that fight would fight Usman next.”
Even though Edwards hasn’t fought in such a long time the 29-year-old contender has won his last eight trips to the Octagon. Instead of “Rocky” fighting someone lower on the totem pole White believes the welterweight contender deserves the biggest fight possible, especially since he was willing to step up and fight Chimaev when nobody else would.
“That’s what makes sense right now,” White said. “That’s the fight. Listen, for a guy like Leon, Leon accepts the fight with a No. 15 ranked guy who is a savage. Nobody else wants to fight this guy. He accepts the fight. The fight keeps falling out left and right. Now, this happens to him? We’ve got to go (up) with him, not (down) to show the kid the respect he deserves and stepping up and taking these fights and doing what he’s done. (We’ll) get him the right fight.”
As far as a potential date for Edwards vs. Covington, White believes the promotion may be able to get it done for March 13th and save UFC Vegas 21’s depleted card.
“Sure, (it could happen March 13),” White said. “I think Colby has been training anyway. I think Colby is ready to fight. I don’t know. This thing just happened yesterday. We’re still scrambling.”
What do you think? Should UFC book Edwards vs. Covington? Should the winner fight for the UFC welterweight title?