UFC spent several years trying to hold Leon Edwards back, according to comments “Rocky” made just last year, but now the 31 year-old Englishman is calling the shots after knocking out former 170-pound kingpin Kamaru Usman at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City.
First order of business? A contract that reflects his value.
“I need a new one now, 100 percent,” Edwards told Mirror.co.uk. “Not yet because as far as dates and fights, that normally happens when you talk about fights because you use the fight to negotiate the contract. When it’s time to start talking about the fight and the date of the fight, we’ll start negotiating a new deal and go from there.”
With the score tied one apiece, the promotion is expected to book an immediate rubber match. Edwards (20-3, 1 NC) recently revealed their championship headliner will take place in or around March of 2023, possibly at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
Wembley Stadium can hold 90,000 paying customers.
“I think mixed martial arts has grown so much in the UK and it’s been waiting for a show like that to happen in Europe,” Edwards added. “Now that you’ve got a world champion from the UK I think it’s the perfect time, especially with all the other [British] fighters doing well in the sport I think now is the time to do it, to keep growing MMA in this part of the world.”
Edwards earned $350,000 for his UFC 278 upset.