Leon Edwards claims that he’s rooting for Jorge Masvidal despite losing streak
Leon Edwards is still seeking redress for the backstage altercation with Jorge Masvidal in 2019. At that year’s UFC London event, both welterweight superstars earned decisive victories against Gunnar Nelson and Darren Till, respectively. At the end of the evening, while Masvidal was being interviewed backstage, he delivered the famous multi-punch combination to Edwards, leaving him cut and bloodied under the eye.
Edwards has come a long way since then, most famously clinching victory from the jaws of defeat against Kamaru Usman to lay hands on the UFC gold. UFC never attempted to cash in and capitalize on the glaringly simple matchup. At least not until December 2021, when the pair was scheduled to fight at UFC 269, but Masvidal’s rib injury forced him to withdraw.
In the end, it led Edwards to where he should have been all along, which was a UFC title shot against Kamaru Usman. Edwards shocked the world by becoming champion with a Hail Mary head kick knockout, while Masvidal has lost his last three. Speaking on Believe You Me podcast, Edwards said:
“I don’t like him that much, but I’m rooting for him to win so I can fight him. He just keeps losing so it’s hard to make the fight make sense. I even said if he went out there and fought in like December, January … Gilbert [Burns] or somebody, beat one of them, then I’ll fight you in March. Then get Usman in the Summer or something. Let him rest his hands a bit then I’ll fight you in March, but he didn’t even do that.”
He added: “Skillset-wise, it’s two different levels. His career is doing that, mine’s doing this. It’s hard to make the fight make sense right now. But that’s a fight I need to happen and want to happen.”
Leon Edwards previews upcoming match against Kamaru Usman
Even if “Rocky” Edwards manages to put an end to his feud with Usman, a fight between him and Jorge Masvidal would have to wait until after the dust settled.
The third instalment of the trilogy will take place at UFC 286 in London on March 18, with Edwards planning to defend his championship against the guy who defeated him in their previous meeting. At the beginning of their August bout, Edwards scored a massive takedown and immediately took control of the fight, dominating the champion until the first break. However, the altitude in Salt Lake City, Utah eventually caught up with the Brit, and he blamed it for his downfall and Usman’s dominance in the fight’s final four rounds.
In light of Edwards’s dramatic knockout in their first meeting, the champion, is preparing for an even more aggressive wrestling strategy this time around.
“I think if you watch the fight that was Usman being Usman. I can’t see how now he’s going to be a totally different fighter. He might come out and keep proper, not slipping as big. But when you get tired as the rounds go on, you go back into habits. He’ll probably wrestle me more. Before, he was wrestling in the first fight. He was shooting from a mile away. I will be prepared for that with me and my team. Physically, mentally, we know that that’s his plan. If I was him, that would be my plan — to go out there and try to have a stinker fight. Just get the win by any means. That’s what he does anyway, so I can’t see him come out and try to have another striking match with me or nothing like that. He’ll try to wrestle his ass off.”
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