There’s an argument to be made that Leon Edwards deserves a shot at the UFC welterweight title with a win over Nate Diaz tomorrow night (Sat., June 12, 2021) live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
That is, of course, unless you ask current No. 1-ranked welterweight contender Colby Covington.
Edwards has a chance to push his current win streak to nine with a win over Diaz this weekend. That type of success is usually good enough to earn a title shot even in a crowded division like welterweight. But when you look at Edwards’ victories since he started his current streak back in 2016 he hasn’t really beaten a top guy. Wins over Rafael dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone are nice, but those guys weren’t kicking the door down at 170 pounds.
Unfortunately for Edwards, the same can be said about Diaz. While Diaz is one of the more popular fighters in the sport today and a guy who can give “Rocky” a run for his money inside of the Octagon he doesn’t offer much upside when it comes to earning a title shot. At the end of the day, Diaz is unranked and he hasn’t fought since Nov. 2019.
For these reasons Covington believes that “Rocky” has no claim to a future title shot even if he goes out and ends Diaz this weekend at UFC 263.
“It makes sense that ‘Edward Scissorhands’ Leon Edwards wants to fight Nate Diaz, another loser and unranked guy – another guy that he’s beaten that has nothing,” Covington recently told MMA Junkie. “He’s not a top-three, top-five fighter, and that’s what ‘Edward Scissorhands’ likes to do.
“He likes to pick these easy fights with these guys that aren’t even relevant to the division and hopefully he’s going to get a little hype from it because nobody cares about him. The guy is literally worthless. He’s a mumbling, fumbling idiot, and it makes sense that he’s going to fight Nate Diaz because they’ve both got marbles in their mouth when they talk all the time.”
Diaz is not an easy fight by any stretch of the imagination but he may not be the type of fighter to push Edwards over the hump in the welterweight division. The UFC does tend to ride the hot hand and in most cases a decisive win over Diaz does lead to great opportunities, but we really don’t know how the promotion is viewing Edwards at this point in time.
Either way, Edwards must get past Diaz to put himself in a position to fight for the title. And considering Covington is expected to earn his rematch against current UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman later this year “Chaos” and “Rocky” could end up locking horns for the belt sometime down the road.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 263 fight card right HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.