Leon Edwards says Darren Till fighting wrong man at UFC London, calls out 'The Gorilla'


LONDON – If the onsale press conference for March’s UFC on ESPN+ 5 event was the only thing to go off, one would think Darren Till and Leon Edwards are fighting each other in the main event.

As we know, though, that’s not the case. Till (17-1-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) is fighting Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) in the welterweight headliner, while Edwards (16-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) is booked against Gunnar Nelson (17-3-1 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in the co-main event. That didn’t stop the two Brits from going after each other at Wednesday’s press conference, though.

“One hundred percent, I feel like I should’ve been the main event,” Edwards told reporters, including MMAjunkie. “I called out both guys, Masvidal and Till. They both turned it down. I was going to fight Jorge in December, I think on the Jon Jones card. He said yes, and they had to pull the fight last minute; he said he was going to wait for Nick Diaz, and that didn’t happen. We were going to push for the London card with Till. He didn’t want it, and it didn’t happen. Now we’re here.”

According to Till, though, he never declined such a fight. He said Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Rafael dos Anjos were all discussed as potential opponents, but Edwards’ name “never” came across the board.

If it did, though, Till said he’d readily accept.

“Your time will come,” Till said. “I just know one thing: I’ll punch a hole in your face. Your fight will come, and when it comes, you’ll get it. Right now in England, I’m the No. 1.”

UFC on ESPN+ 5 takes place March 16 at The O2 in London. The card streams on ESPN+.

Edwards, an honorable mention in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, has won his past six fights in the octagon. He thought No. 5-ranked Till, who is coming off a title-fight loss to champ Tyron Woodley at UFC 228 in September, would be the perfect opponent to elevate his career to the next level, but it never materialized.

“This was the best fight to make,” Edwards said. “This was not the (expletive) main event to make, him and Jorge. It was me vs. him. Who’s the best welterweight in the UK? That fight should’ve happened. Not Jorge.”

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