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Defiant Leon Edwards rejects UFC London, takes summer off to watch Colby Covington ‘beg some more’

UFC 278: Usman v Edwards 2 Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is expected to make its return to London on Sat., July 22, 2023, and there was early talk of having reigning welterweight champion, Leon Edwards, defend his 170-pound strap atop the “Big Smoke” fight card.

Too soon, according to “Rocky,” unless the price is right stupid.

“No, unless it comes with some stupid money, the bag always talks,” Edwards told Sky Sports. “Unless the stupid money comes I don’t see it, I’d literally have to get back in training camp next week. I fought under a month ago. March to July I don’t think makes sense. In the last year or so I’ve fought three times I think, I’d love to fight now towards the end of the year. The Abu Dhabi card would be great. That would be perfect, I get time to nurse my injuries, I get time to get back into it, I feel like Abu Dhabi would be perfect.”

Assuming he doesn't get stripped before then.

The promotion recently announced the UFC 294 pay-per-view (PPV) event for Sat., Oct. 21, 2023 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE. That would mean delaying the return of “weird” Colby Covington, who is expected to challenge Edwards for the welterweight crown.

Despite boasting an 0-2 record in 170-pound title fights.

“I think Colby Covington is like a Btech Usman, there’s nothing there,” Edwards continued. “If that’s what they want I’ll give them that, the opponent doesn’t bother me, it’s more the date. I remember when I was going through the pandemic he was like ‘who’s Leon Edwards?’ and now look, he’s like begging me for the title shot. How times have changed, now I’m king of the hill and I’ll sit back and let him beg some more. I’ve earned it. Now I’m the champion, I decide, Colby isn’t a champion so doesn’t decide anything. That’s the difference. If it is Colby it’s Colby, they are all similar fights anyway. There’s nothing fearful about Colby.”

That extended timeline could put this resurgent contender back on the shelf until 2024.

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