Undisptued UFC welterweight champion, Leon Edwards claims he will not be competing at UFC 291 on July 22. at a targeted London, England event – preferring an October return at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Edwards, who headlined UFC 286 just last month, managed to successfully defend his title in a trilogy title rubber match win over former champion and former pound-for-pound fighter, Kamaru Usman – nabbing a close, majority decision victory.

The Birmingham native was lined up subsequently to face the current #2 ranked contender and former interim welterweight champion, Colby Covington for his second attempted title defense, with UFC leader, Dana White confirming how the latter would be next to challenge for gold in the division.

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However, Edwards would question how the Clovis native, who has been sidelined since March of last year deserved a title showdown against him. 

As a result, Covington, who most recently landed a unanimous decision win over the recently retired, Jorge Masvidal, claimed he had received assurances from UFC brass and White that Edwards would be stripped if he refused to fight him.

Leon Edwards uninterested in July return at earmarked UFC 291 card

However, according to Edwards, the Team Renagade BJJ & MMA staple has no intentions of fighting at soon as July at UFC 291 – particularly against the outspoken, Covington.

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“No [he will not fight at UFC London], unless it comes with some stupid money, the bag always talks,” Leon Edwards told Sky Sports. “Unless the stupid money comes I don’t see it – I’d literally have to get back in training camp next week.”

“I fought under a month ago,” Leon Edwards explained. “March to July, I don’t think [that] makes sense. In the last year or so, I’ve fought three times I think. I’d love to fight now towards the end of the year. The Abu Dhabi card [UFC 294] card would be great. That would be perfect. I get to nurse my injuries, I get time to get back into it. I feel like Abu Dhabi would be perfect.” 

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Winning the undisputed welterweight title back in August of last year in Salt Lake City, Utah – Edwards rallied to finish Usman with a thunderous fifth round high kick in their championship rematch.