Streaking welterweight contender Leon Edwards expects to shock the world on Aug. 20 in Salt Lake City by ending the welterweight title reign of current 170-pound kingpin Kamaru Usman in the UFC 278 pay-per-view (PPV) main event.
Just don’t expect an immediate rematch.
Instead, Edwards will invite longtime nemesis Jorge Masvidal to compete in his third welterweight title shot later this year, in hopes of settling their longstanding rivalry that reached its peak during SodaGate back in March 2019.
“When I win the belt, I’ll give him the title shot,” Edwards told The MMA Hour. “That would be a fantastic fight in the U.K. Bring it back to The O2 where it happened, for the title. That’s what I want to do after this. I’ll offer it to him if it happens in the U.K., for sure. My dream scenario would be to bring him back to London and headline London. I’ve never gotten the opportunity to headline London. First I was supposed to do it with [Tyron] Woodley, then that got cancelled because of COVID. So I’ve always wanted to come back home and do it.”
The 37 year-old Masvidal is expected to go to trial just a few days after UFC 278 wraps, thanks to a previous ambush on fellow contender Colby Covington. Depending on how that court case unfolds, “Gamebred” could find himself unavailable for the rest of the year.
“See that’s another intangible,” Masvidal told Blockasset. “I gotta say no to fighting for the title? Like, hell no. I’ll get my ass in shape and get ready for this fucking hooligan, you know? Give it all I got to break his face. So it’s a lot of tangibles. There are lot of things that can happen out there. I could be getting myself ready for No. 10 of the world and all of a sudden, I’m fighting for a world championship.”
Usman may have something to say about that on Aug. 20.