Leon Edwards doesn’t think that an inactive fighter should challenge for his 170-pound crown next.
Edwards wrapped a ribbon around his trilogy with Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 last night (Sat., March 18, 2023), winning a majority decision over his rival inside The O2 in London, England. “Rocky” didn’t have more than three minutes to relish his hard-fought title defense before former Welterweight interim champion, Colby Covington, was heckling him from the stands (watch it). Then, 30 minutes later at UFC 286’s post-fight press conference, UFC President, Dana White, announced that “Chaos” — the surprise 170-pound main event backup fighter — would be his next title defense.
When presented with fast-moving the news, Edwards scoffed at the match up.
“I don’t know how that makes sense,” Edwards told the media during UFC 286’s post-fight press conference. “Um, he hasn’t fought in over a year-and-a-half — he sat out un-injured. I just don’t get how he just slides in for the world title shot when there are other guys in the division who have been active, fighting and didn’t sit out. So, like I said, I’m the king now, I’ve earned my way. I feel like I should decide who’s next, so yeah.”
Covington has been on the sidelines since his dominant win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272 in March 2022. And his inactivity over the past year — seemingly not of his own making — appears to be the issue with Edwards.
“I just don’t see how Colby sits out for a year, not injured, and just slides in for a title shot,” Edwards said. “I had to work — 12 fights to get there, you know? When I was trying to get my title shot, he was saying, ‘Who is he? and, ‘I don’t know who he is.’ Now, I’m the king. Now he is allowed to just jump the line and jump straight in? Like I said, I’m the king and will decide who’s next.”
While in a perfect world UFC’s Welterweight champion should be able to indeed choose, the Octagon is far from a perfect place. But, perhaps a big win for backstage rival, Jorge Masvidal, at UFC 287 in Miami, Fla., next month could convince Dana White and Co. otherwise.
Because that’s what King Leon seems to really want.
Who should Leon Edwards fight next?
Burns vs. Masvidal winner
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