Edwards says Masvidal turned down fight with him after UFC offered it


Leon Edwards thinks a fight with Jorge Masvidal is imminent after Saturday night.

Following Colby Covington’s big win over Robbie Lawler at UFC on ESPN 5, UFC president Dana White said Covington is next in line for a shot at welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. With that news public, Edwards and his team called the UFC to ask for the Masvidal fight, and he said the UFC was on board.

But according to Edwards, Masvidal turned down the fight.

“The only fight that makes sense now is me and Masvidal, and that’s the fight that I want,” Edwards told MMA Junkie. “I spoke to the UFC. They want the fight. I want the fight. But Masvidal is turning the fight down. They say he doesn’t want the fight, so I don’t know. I’m just here. I’ll be ready to go at the end of the year and hopefully get one of those fights.

“They’re saying Masvidal said no, he doesn’t want the fight. He’s trying to outbid himself, saying he wants a stupid amount of money to fight. So I’m ready to go. I’m just waiting to see what happens, and so I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully we get the fight done.”

Following his record-breaking knockout of Ben Askren at UFC 239Masvidal made it clear he only wants to fight for the welterweight title or a big-money fight against the likes of former two-division champion Conor McGregor. White has said multiple times Masvidal shouldn’t expect either of those matchups next.

Edwards is eager to settle a score with Masvidal, who attacked him backstage in London when the two picked up big wins competing on the same card. He said his resume speaks for itself, but Masvidal has only had recent success.

“I just don’t see where he gets the nerve to be demanding, making demands on what he wants,” Edwards said. “He’s 2-2 in his last four fights and I’m 8-0 in my last eight fights, second most to the champion. So I feel I should be ahead of him, anyway, in the title-shot contention. But I’m still willing to put my 8-0 up against his 2-2 to prove who’s the No. 1.”

Edwards (18-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) is coming off the biggest victory of his career, a unanimous decision win over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on ESPN 4. The win pushed him one step closer to his ultimate goal of a title shot, and he said he’s only willing to fight Masvidal or Usman for the title. Edwards lost a decision to Usman in December 2015 before his current eight-fight winning streak started.

“My two choices are either Kamaru – the rematch – or Masvidal,” Edwards said. “That’s the only two fights right now in my career that make sense. I’m on a eight-fight win streak. I’ve done more work than anybody in the division, so I feel like I deserve one of those two fights. Whoever comes first, I’m ready to go.

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