Leon Edwards backed to fight Gilbert Burns, not Belal Muhammad after UFC 296: ‘He brings more to the table’

Leon Edwards tipped to fight Gilbert Burns instead of Belal Muhammad brings more to the table UFC

Leon Edwards’ head coach, Dave Lovell has claimed he would like to see his student fight former title challenger, Gilbert Burns fight the defending champion next – instead of an earmarked rematch against top-contender, Belal Muhammad, claiming the Brazilian brings more to the table than the latter.

Edwards, who headlined UFC 296 over the course of last weekend, turned in a dominant unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 49-45) victory over former interim champion, Colby Covington in the pair’s tense grudge match in Las Vegas.

And in the immediate aftermath, Edwards, who fought the above-mentioned, Muhammad to a second round ‘No Contest’ back in 2021 after an inadvertent eye poke, dismissed a fight with the Illinois native next – despite the fact the surging contender has been billed as the next title challenger. 

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“Nah, there are definitely other options,” Leon Edwards said after UFC 296. “I don’t feel like Belal (Muhammad) should be next. I’ve done it before. I’ve won like 10 fights and didn’t get a title shot. So, what makes him different or more privileged.”

“So, Colby’s (Covington) already skipped the line already, let’s see who’s next,” Leon Edwards explained. “But like I said, this is the ‘Rocky’ era, it’s my era now and I’ll keep reigning, whoever’s next. It doesn’t matter, they’re all similar styles anyways. All boxers and wrestlers, it’s what I’ve built my career on. So, whoever comes next, it’s whatever, you know.” 

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Leon Edwards pegged to potentially fight Gilbert Burns next

And according to Edwards’ trainer, Renegade BJJ & MMA staple, Lovell has claimed his student would be better suited to fight Burns next in his return to the Octagon – who most recently suffered a decision shutout loss to Muhammad at UFC 288 back in May.

“If I had a choice who would be next, I would prefer (Gilbert) Burns over Belal (Muhamamd), because I think Burns brings more to the table than Belal,” Dave Lovell told MMA Fighting. “Because Leon’s beaten him [Muhammad] – well, I shouldn’t say that, he had the no-constest against Belal. It looked like, you can’t judge it by the first round totally, but it looked like Leon obviously had the first round locked down with Belal and he was going in for the kill [up tunil] the second until the eye poke occurred.”

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“But yeah, if I had a choice, overall, I would like Burns, but we’ll take whoever they [the UFC] throw at us,” Lovell finished. 

Booked to make his return to the Octagon at UFC 299 in March of next year, Burns has been slated to fight Australian contender, Jack Della Maddalena in a return to his residence in Miami, Florida. 

Who wins in a future fight: Leon Edwards or Gilbert Burns?