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Stephen Thompson demotes Leon Edwards, eyes winner of Usman vs Masvidal 2

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UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has defeated everyone in the Top 5 of his division with the exception of two-time title challenger Stephen Thompson, which is why “Wonderboy” believes he should be next in line for a crack at the crown.

No. 3-ranked Leon Edwards probably could have grabbed that spot, but promotion president Dana White wanted “Rocky” to produce a “spectacular” win over Belal Muhammad at UFC Vegas 21, not a “No Contest” as a result of a blatant eye poke.

“I know Edwards is like, ‘No man, I want to fight for the title.’ Come on, dude. You haven’t fought,” Thompson said on his podcast. “I deserve the title more than you deserve it at this point. I’m just saying. You know what I mean? Come on, guys. I’m the only guy that Usman hasn’t fought. That should have been a disqualification. It was a no contest, what? Edwards should have been DQ’d. That’s twice. He got warned, did it again, done-zo.”

Thompson (16-4-1), now 38, scored a unanimous decision victory over Geoff Neal at UFC Vegas 17 in Dec. 2020 to register his second straight win. Working in his favor is the fact that “Wonderboy” has already defeated fellow contender Jorge Masvidal.

Speaking of “Gamebred,” he’s scheduled to run it back with Usman at the UFC 261 pay-per-view (PPV) event on April 24 in Jacksonville. Hopefully by then, the promotion can figure out if Edwards — or Thompson — is next in line for the 170-pound strap.

The easiest way to accomplish that is to make them fight.