Leon Edwards would like nothing more than to face the winner of the UFC 251 headliner taking place this weekend.
Kamaru Usman defends his welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal in the main event taking place Saturday in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Of course, it may have been Edwards challenging for the title himself as he is on an eight-fight winning streak and appeared to be a strong contender for the shot.
However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to those plans as his UFC London fight with Tyron Woodley in March was canceled while travel restrictions prevented him from competing afterwards. For now, he is just happy the division is moving forward, but would undoubtedly like to face the winner next.
“I’m just happy that the division (has) got some movement to it,” Edwards told MMA Junkie. “For a while, it’s been stagnant and nothing was happening, so it’s good to see them fighting. I got history with both men and I’d love to fight the winner.”
Edwards Believes He Deserves Shot Over Burns
Of course, it looked like Gilbert Burns was going to get the shot as he was booked to face Usman at UFC 251 following his win over Woodley in May. However, he tested positive for COVID-19 allowing Masvidal to step in.
Edwards sympathizes with Burns, but believes he should be given precedence over the Brazilian when it comes to the next shot.
“We both lost opportunities to coronavirus,” Edwards said. “For me, I couldn’t travel because of coronavirus and that’s the only reason (Burns) got to fight Woodley. Same as the title shot: I couldn’t travel because of coronavirus and they offered me a title shot, so we both lost opportunities to the same thing. So I can’t see why they would look over me when I’ve got the most wins in the division (compared) to the champion.”
That said, “Rocky” hasn’t competed since last July and if the winner on Saturday requires a long layoff, he is open to staying active and fighting Burns.
“It depends how long we’re waiting for,” Edwards added. “If it’s a long time waiting – like (the) end of the year, or next year – then I’d rather compete. My last fight was in July when I fought RDA, so that’s almost a year. So I would like to compete and stay active.”
What do you think is next for Edwards?