And though it appears certain that Usman will be granted an immediate opportunity to regain the title that he held for over three years, “The Nigerian Nightmare” isn’t the only contender on the Brit’s mind.
As well as expressing a desire to finally meet long-time rival Jorge Masvidal inside the Octagon, preferably at London’s O2 arena, next month’s pay-per-view headliner could also produce a possible challenger.
Given that many are expecting Chimaev — who is unbeaten in professional MMA and defeated Gilbert Burns last time out — to breeze past Diaz on September 10, an upset win for the veteran would perhaps surpass Edwards’ recent victory when it comes to 2022 shocks.
And with that in mind, the newly crowned champion would be willing to reward such a feat with a shot at gold.
Edwards: The Game Has Never Changed Diaz
During his first interview since Saturday’s celebrations, Edwards looked ahead to his reign and likely first title defense early next year while speaking with Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour.
After noting that a third dance with Usman will probably come next, ideally on home turf for the Englishman, Edwards discussed the possibility of Diaz inserting himself into the picture by adding the first blemish to Chimaev’s record in three weeks’ time.
“Image. The scenes! The scenes! I f*cking hope he does (beat Chimaev). Image the scenes. I would 100% give him the shot as well,” Edwards said. “That would be — the scenes. It would be crazy. And I would 100% give Nate a shot ’cause Nate’s a G man. I always said it, even after our fight. He is who he is. The game has never changed him. If that does happen, then Nate is deffo getting a shot.”
Whilst Diaz has publicly expressed his desire to fight out his contract and pursue other opportunities outside of the UFC, perhaps a win over “Borz” and a possible championship opportunity will convince him to stick around for a little while longer.
Should that be the case, and should Edwards remain on the throne through a trilogy with Usman, Diaz could get the chance to avenge a 2021 loss to “Rocky.” The pair collided at UFC 263 in what was the promotion’s first non-title and non-main event five-round fight.
Whilst the Englishman dominated for the best part of 24 minutes, a final-minute surge from the Stockton native, which saw him rock Edwards with a clean left hand, ensured that his reputation as an always dangerous fan favorite only enhanced.
Would you like to see Nate Diaz stay in the UFC and fight Leon Edwards for the title if he upsets Khamzat Chimaev next month?