At UFC 278 this past August, Leon Edwards shocked the world by ending the dominant reign of Kamaru Usman. “Rocky” leveled the score with “The Nigerian Nightmare,” who defeated the Brit back in 2015, with a brutal fifth-round head kick.
The result in Utah and the manner by which it occurred went viral, and one man who paid close attention to what went down in Salt Lake City was two-time title challenger Masvidal, who fell short of accomplishing Edwards’ feat in back-to-back contests versus Usman.
Despite being on an 0-3 losing skid, Masvidal immediately campaigned to be first in line for a shot at Edwards’ newly won gold, largely playing on the history between the pair and its likely pay-per-view appeal in the UK.
But returning the favor after being shunned while he was below Masvidal on the ladder, Edwards has largely dismissed the Miami native’s callouts.
However, the champ has admitted his desire to get revenge on Masvidal for the punches he landed during their backstage altercation inside The O2 in 2019. Those remarks have seemingly left some hope in the mind of the ‘BMF’ titleholder, who hasn’t given up yet.
But according to a fellow former title challenger, he may as well, because it’s not going to happen.
Sonnen On Masvidal’s Callouts: ‘No Salesman In The World Could Explain It’
During a recent video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Sonnen discussed the welterweight title picture, which most acknowledge will see Edwards and Usman collide for the third time early next year.
Having shared that sentiment himself, “The American Gangster” insisted that Edwards and Masvidal won’t be sharing the Octagon while the former has the gold or while “Gamebred” remains on a losing streak.
On a PR level, Sonnen noted that not a single promoter or salesman could justify Masvidal getting the next shot to any audience.
“Leon can understand where Jorge could not qualify for a world title fight by losing his last three fights, of which that opportunity was given,” Sonnen said. “They’re not going to make that fight. There’s no salesman in the world that could explain to the audience why Masvidal is now fighting for a world title when guys like (Colby) Covington, or (Khamzat) Chimaev, or (Gilbert) Burns — you just couldn’t package that up and explain it.
“The backstory works, the personal grudge works, they’re gonna bring attention, they’re going to fill an arena — you just can’t put the belt up,” Sonnen added. “The belt is the only thing that becomes a problem with that fight.”
While that may well be the case, it doesn’t appear that Masvidal will be giving up his pursuit of “Rocky” until the UFC officially announces his trilogy with Usman.
Should that announcement come in the coming weeks or months, perhaps “Gamebred” will direct his focus back to a possible fight with #4-ranked welterweight contender Gilbert Burns.
Do you agree with Chael Sonnen’s assessment of Jorge Masvidal’s title credentials?
Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.