One welterweight contender who has separated himself from the pack is Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal went 3-0 in 2019, all stoppages, and all in high-profile fights. But when asked if a fight against Masvidal would make the most sense next, Usman bypassed him in favor of a familiar foe:
“Man, there’s a lot of tough guys in the division: a lot, a lot of tough guys. Let’s be honest,” Usman said at the UFC 245 post-fight press conference. “If we’re talking about someone who’s deserving, Leon Edwards hasn’t lost since he fought me. He’s been finishing guys. And he’s now found himself in the position that I found myself in a little over a year ago…is everyone knew that I was one of the toughest guys out there, and they didn’t want to gamble and take that risk on me.”
The last person to defeat Edwards was Usman himself. Since then, Edwards has gone on a tear, compiling eight consecutive wins in the division. Usman made sure to let it be known that while he has his opinions on who should be next, he will ultimately face whomever the UFC puts in front of him:
“And so right now, I’m sitting above, looking at all these guys and they’re kind of all in that pool….very tightly contested. So they just need to break out, and I’m waiting for whoever Dana and the organization feel is the next guy for me, and I’ll be happy. I’ve never turned down a fight, especially now; I’m the champion. So if they say, ‘This is the next guy,’ then, hey, that’s the next guy.”
Who do you believe is more deserving of a welterweight title shot? Leon Edwards or Jorge Masvidal?