The entire landscape of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight division changed on last night (Sat., Aug. 20, 2022) after Leon Edwards knocked out dominant champion, Kamaru Usman, with a headkick in the final minute of their UFC 278 fight (watch the knockout finish here).
Usman hadn’t just beaten some of the best contenders at 170 pounds, he beat them twice. Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal had no route back to title contendership so long as “The Nigerian Nightmare” held the title. So, it’s not surprising that Masvidal was excited to see “Rocky” switch things up.
Masvidal and Edwards have history from a UFC London card in March 2019. Masvidal had just knocked out Darren Till in the main event, while Edwards decisioned Gunnar Nelson in the co-main. The two victorious fighters had an altercation backstage that resulted in Masvidal swinging on Edwards, hitting him with what “Gamebred” coined, “the three-piece and soda.”
Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards exchange words and punches backstage during the ESPN+ post-show pic.twitter.com/kYEkWxN8Io— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 16, 2019
Masvidal brought the saying back in his callout of the new 170-pound champion, writing on Instagram, “I heard we going to London again.”
Masvidal’s agent, Malki Kawa, added, “3 piece and a soda time. Yes we except [sic] Leon Edwards.”
But, do Edwards and UFC accept Masvidal? Leading up to UFC 278, Edwards told talkSPORT, “I’ll give the bum the opportunity to come fight for the title just to show everyone how s— he is.” At the post-fight press conference, Edwards was a bit more measured.
“Jorge would be good, but he needs to go get a win, you know? Having him in the U.K. would be good. Back where the first incident happened. But, if not, let’s run it back in Wembley with Kamaru. Like I said, that was the best he had to offer, and that was the worst I had to offer, and I still got the finish. Let them all come, they’re calling me out, first they doubted me, now they’re calling me out.”
Masvidal is on a three-fight losing streak, but not all losses are created equal. “Gamebred’s” three losses come to Kamaru Usman twice and Colby Covington, fighters at the absolute top of the division. Given Masvidal’s popularity and the history with Leon, it wouldn’t be surprising to see UFC grant him a title shot.
However, first things first. UFC President, Dana White, wants an immediate rematch between Edwards and Usman.
“How do you not? Yeah [I want to do it in the U.K.],” White said at the UFC 278 post-fight press conference. “I don’t think [Leon would] have to sit and wait anyway. He wouldn’t have to wait that long. He’d have to go back into camp and start training anyway. First of all, we’d have to have the date. I think we’re booked up into January now.”
For complete UFC 278 results and coverage click here.