Perennial UFC welterweight contender, Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards has been removed from the official UFC welterweight rankings this morning.

Edwards, who had noted his title aspirations over the course of the last year, sat at the #3 rank in the division, following a unanimous decision win over former lightweight best, Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night San Antonio in July of last year. 

The Birmingham based contender added Rio de Janeiro veteran, dos Anjos to his incredible winning run – which stretched to eight consecutive wins, with his most recent loss coming opposite current champion, Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman at UFC Fight Night Orlando in December 2015.

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Whilst Edwards was scheduled to make his thirteenth Octagon walk of his career this year in March opposite former division titleholder, Tyron ‘The Chosen One’ Woodley – the UFC Fight Night London event which was slated to host the headliner was shelved amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With Roufusport trainee, Woodley returning to the United States, the promotion called on streaking challenger, Gilbert ‘Durinho’ Burns who is based out of Sanford MMA in Florida to matchup with Woodley at UFC Vegas in May.

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Accepting the bout agreement, Burns put a relatively one-sided beating on the Missouri native over five-rounds to earn a welterweight title opportunity against the above-mentioned, Usman, at first UFC 251 and then UFC 256 – with both falling to the wayside due to a positive COVID-19 test from the former, and a niggling injury to the latter.

Fifteen months removed from his last UFC walk, TSN reported this morning that Edwards had been removed from the official UFC rankings – with MMA DNA reporter, Marcel Dorff confirming the removal this afternoon. 

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Edwards had been linked numerous times over the last couple months with a matchup opposite former two-time division title challenger, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, but remains adamant that potential pairing wouldn’t lead him to his desired title opportunity.

Replacing him at the #3 rank is his arch-rival, recent UFC 251 title challenger, Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal who himself has been linked with a pairing opposite former American Top Team teammate, former interim best, Colby ‘Chaos’ Covington.

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.