At August 20’s Utah-held pay-per-view, Edwards will finally get his long-awaited opportunity to win UFC gold, but it will be no easy feat. In his way of an ascension to the 170-pound mountaintop will be Kamaru Usman, the longtime divisional kingpin who’s held the belt since 2019 and through five defenses.
But while Edwards acknowledges the task ahead of him, which is one that he failed to accomplish back in 2015, “Rocky” has let his eyes drift beyond a potential championship crowning and towards his first challenger.
And during an appearance on The MMA Hour, Edwards pitched a long-requested showdown with rival Masvidal at London’s The O2 arena, where the pair’s feud was birthed through a backstage altercation in 2019.
“When I win the belt — I was saying the other day, when I win the belt, I’ll give him the title shot,” Edwards said. “That’d be a fantastic fight in the UK. We’ll bring it back to The O2, where it happened, for the title. That’s what I wanna do next after this… Imagine.”
While that is still ultimately the “dream,” Edwards has somewhat changed his tune on the timeline of the potential title clash.
Edwards: Masvidal Needs A Win First
When asked for his current thoughts on who he could face should he successfully dethrone “The Nigerian Nightmare” on August 20, Edwards once again brought up the name of Masvidal, but not without adding a stipulation.
“I always said I’d love to have Masvidal, you know, but he needs to get a win,” Edwards said. “Let him get one win, then imagine like, him back in London, to headline London for the title. I’ll give him a shot, you know, just to show the world that this man is nowhere near my level, and to shut him up in my hometown, where the incident happened.”
Masvidal is riding the first three-fight losing skid of his career. After falling short in back-to-back title challenges against Usman, “Gamebred” dropped a convincing decision to former friend and teammate Colby Covington earlier this year.
With that, an immediate title shot next would no doubt have caused a stir, so it’s no surprise to see Edwards add the need to return to the win column to his championship offer.
Would you like to see Jorge Masvidal challenge Leon Edwards if the Brit dethrones Kamaru Usman this weekend?