Top UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards has title ambitions ahead of his UFC 263 bout with Nate Diaz, and he’s willing to wait as long as it takes to get to the champion Kamaru Usman if he gets the win on Saturday.

Edwards has had an unusual series of fights over the past few years. Despite winning eight straight fights since losing to Usman at UFC on Fox 17, he’s fought just once in nearly two years and is coming off a no-contest against Belal Muhammad due to an accidental eye poke.

Before that, he had been one of the hottest welterweights in the division with big wins over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, fan-favorite Donald Cerrone, and grappling specialist Gunnar Nelson. Despite the unusual circumstances, Edwards feels his next fight should be for the UFC welterweight belt with a win over Diaz at UFC 263.

“I don’t know how Dana is justifying giving Colby the title shot,” Edwards said in a recent interview with ESPN. “He went out there, it was an injury against Tyron Woodley, he sat out for over a year and demanded that he wants a title shot after just getting knocked out for the title like one fight ago. I just don’t understand how they’re even considering that when I’ve been here for years, grinding my way back up from my last defeat.”

“I went on an eight-fight win streak, soon to be nine, so after I go out there and defeat Nate next weekend, I’ll be waiting for my title shot. There’s Usman, GSP, and me for the most wins, so I’ll go out there and prove my case.”

Edwards will look to put on another impressive performance against Diaz on Saturday. Diaz is making his return to the octagon after long hiatus since his loss against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244.

UFC president Dana White has already confirmed that either Diaz or Edwards will be second-in-line for the title shot behind Colby Covington with a win. The five-round main card fight will garner the attention of fans around the world with a lot on the line.

What is your prediction for Leon Edwards vs. Nate Diaz at UFC 263?

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.