Former UFC light heavyweight and middleweight title challenger, Chael Sonnen has claimed that Leon Edwards has been offered both his show and win money, in order to step aside and allow the UFC to book a welterweight title fight between champion, Kamaru Usman, and former two-weight titleholder, Conor McGregor.
Leon Edwards, who was promoted to the #2 rank in the official welterweight stack following UFC 273 earlier this month, received the seal of approval from UFC president, Dana White on his title rematch against Usman this summer, however, a title re-run has yet to be officially booked.
For Usman, the Auchi native is expected to return to active competition for the first time since November later this year – and was initially expected to feature atop UFC 276 on July 2. during International Fight Week against Edwards, after undergoing a recent surgical procedure in order to address a ligament injury in his right hand.
For McGregor, the former undisputed lightweight and featherweight champion recently returned to boxing training and sparring after he had suffered a July fracture of his left tibia in his UFC 264 doctor’s stoppage TKO loss to Dustin Poirier.
Chael Sonnen has claimed Leon Edwards has received an offer of step aside money
According to the aforenoted, Sonnen, however, Leon Edwards has been offered step aside money from the promotion in order to allow a fight between Usman and McGregor take place next.
“I am being told Leon (Edwards) has been offered his show and his win (money), whatever was negotiated for Leon to fight Kamaru (Usman) is being offered to him,” Chael Sonnen said on his YouTube channel. “‘We will mail you a cheque to step aside. We have the right to push you aside, we don’t want any hard feelings. And, we acknowledge that you deserve this. So, we are going to send you what you agreed on and you get to stay home.’ With the belief being that Conor’s (McGregor) gonna step in (against Usman).”
In his most recent outing, Leon Edwards, a staple of Team Renagade BJJ & MMA in Birmingham, featured in the first five round, non-title, non-main event in UFC history against fan-favorite, Nate Diaz last June in Arizona – landing a one-sided unanimous decision victory.
Stacking up his fifth consecutive successful welterweight title defense back in November, Usman, who has recently taken his talents to ONX Labs under the tutelage of Trevor Wittman – secured a second career win over former interim champion, Colby Covington with a November unanimous decision success.