In a clash over two years in the making, Edwards and Masvidal will collide at UFC 269 on December 11. The blockbuster bout will be the culmination of a rivalry that began at a UFC Fight Night event in London back in 2019. In the aftermath of his knockout victory over Edwards’ compatriot Darren Till, “Gamebred” was being interviewed by Laura Sanko backstage when he was interrupted by “Rocky.”
After a brief exchange of words, Masvidal approached the 30-year-old and delivered the infamous “three piece and a soda” combination, leaving a cut on the face of Edwards. According to the Jamaican-born Brit, the Miami native had to be hid and flown out of the country to avoid a revenge attack.
While it may have taken a while, Edwards will have his chance for payback before 2021 is out.
While you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the MMA community who isn’t excited for the matchup, many believe Edwards should instead be fighting for gold. Since a defeat to current champion Kamaru Usman back in 2015, the #3-ranked contender has built a 10-fight unbeaten streak that includes victories over Vicente Luque, Donald Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson, Rafael dos Anjos, and Nate Diaz.
Even though he dominated Diaz for the best part of 24 minutes at UFC 263, Edwards believes he’s paying the price for the final minute, which saw the Stockton native rock him on the feet.
Despite the likes of Daniel Cormier advising Edwards to wait for the shot at gold most believe he deserves, the Englishman has taken the advice of UFC President Dana White, and chosen to remain active while Colby Covington has a second crack at dethroning “The Nigerian Nightmare.” The former interim champ is set to face Usman at UFC 268 despite having only fought once since his loss to the 170-pound kingpin in 2019.
Nevertheless, Edwards says he accepted the matchup with Masvidal with the promotion’s assurance that a victory will secure his place opposite Usman next. Speaking during a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, “Rocky” revealed a guaranteed title shot was “100%” part of the deal.
“They came with the right figures, so I thought I’ll make a little stop off before my title shot… [Is part of that deal, you’re fighting for the belt next if you win on December 11?] Yes, that’s 100% part of the deal. I said it, even before the money came up, I said listen, ‘If I do this fight for you guys, I want to fight for the title next.’ They said yes so, I go out there, I put the performance of my life in and I fight for the title next.
“I believe in my heart [that I’ll fight for the title next]. Where else do they go? There’s no way they can come with someone else… Like I said, I’m focused on the task at hand. I’ve got Masvidal in December, go out there, like I said, and take him out. That’s a fight I’ve wanted for a long time. I can not wait to go out there and shut him up.”
Do you think Leon Edwards should fight for the title if he defeats Jorge Masvidal at UFC 269?