clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WAIT! Stephen Thompson plans to halt Leon Edwards ‘crap’ move to middleweight after UFC 296 — ‘He spoke too soon’

Leon Edwards wants to fight for the middleweight title at UFC 300.

That would require “Rocky” to first get through two-time welterweight title challenger Colby Covington in the UFC 296 pay-per-view (PPV) main event later this month in Las Vegas, the same card that features an important 170-pound battle between top contenders Stephen Thompson and Shavkat Rakhmonov.

Not surprisingly, “Wonderboy” is not a fan of Edwards’ middleweight aspirations.

“I think that’s crap,” Thompson told Submission Radio. “He’s only been the champ for one fight, and after those two fights, I feel like if you’re going to go up to 185, give the guys at 170 a chance to get up. Have at least two or three, four fights before you go on. Clean the division out. He hasn’t done that. Clean the division out and then go up and fight at 185 because there are some really great, interesting fights at 170.”

“You’ve got me, you’ve got Shavkat, you’ve got Ian Garry, who’s undefeated, working his way up, as well,” Thompson continued. “There’s so many other guys that you can fight at 170. Come on, bro. I think he’s just looking for a money fight at this point, which is why he’s saying that. But I think he spoke too soon, because there’s some really good guys in the welterweight division. I’m going to be calling out Leon. I’m going to let everybody know: UFC, I’m coming for Leon.”

Thompson (17-6-1) is coming off a technical knockout victory over Kevin Holland at UFC Orlando last December. “Wonderboy” was expected to make his return against Michel Pereira at UFC 291; however, “Demolidor” failed to make weight and the contest was scrapped. Stopping a red-hot prospect like Rakhmonov could be just the boost Thompson needs to score another title shot, having come up short against Tyron Woodley in two previous attempts.

“That’s a fight that I thought was going to happen before he even got the title shot,” Thompson said. “There’s a few times where I called him out, and he wasn’t obviously biting cause he was on a streak. But that’s something that I thought was going to happen before he was champ, and it never did. And now that he’s champ, I think that would be a banger. He’s only been fighting grapplers here pretty much. He’s been fighting grapplers.”


Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 296 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET (simulcast on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET), before the pay-per-view (PPV) main card start time at 10 p.m. ET (also on ESPN+).

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 296: “Edwards vs. Covington” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania