Edwards will meet Diaz inside the Octagon at UFC 263 on June 12. Taking place at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, the Englishman will have a chance of a lifetime after an unfortunate eye poke caused an abrupt and sudden ending to his welterweight fight with top-ranked Belal Muhammad.
Since the fight ended in a no-contest and Muhammad was unable to continue, certainly Leon Edwards is fired up leading into what is likely the biggest fight of his career.
With the longest win streak inside the welterweight division bar the champion Kamaru Usman, it’s clear that Edwards has put in the work to earn a title opportunity. However, he will need to make it a 9-0 run before talks of a title fight begin to spark.
After being overlooked a couple of times, and the pandemic causing further inactivity, Edwards wants to cement his status as the number one contender by finishing Nate Diaz–which is no easy task.
“I need to go out there and I need to put him away,” Edwards told UFC Arabia. “He’s only been stopped once, and that’s all I need. He’s been stopped. He’s not no robot. He’s not no invincible man. He has been stopped, and I truly believe I will go out there and stop him again – and I cannot wait. My skill set will be too much for him in the standup. On the ground, my strength will be too much for him. And I can’t wait to go out there and let him feel that.”
The 29-year old Englishman believes he will downright batter Diaz as he is not ready for the strength and standup that Edwards will inevitably offer up. In addition, as a tactician, Edwards doesn’t believe Diaz will have anything for him, and as a result, Edwards plans to overwhelm the seasoned fighting veteran.
“I envision going out there and just battering him from pillar to post and getting the stoppage,” Edwards said. “I know he’s a tough, durable guy, and I just don’t think being tough and durable is enough to beat me. I’ve worked hard, and I’ve dedicated myself for a long time, and it’s now time for my results to show. I can’t wait to go out there and prove that.”
While “Rocky” admits that Diaz is durable, the welterweight is a firm believer in the skills he possesses as well as the work he has put in. Without a doubt, the fight will illuminate where each fighter is headed in their respective careers. As a historic, five-round non-main event, non-title fight, the bout will definitely test the heart and conditioning of each fighter, which Edwards believes are two of his notable strengths.
Do you believe Leon Edwards will batter Nate Diaz?