Leon Edwards will seek a ninth consecutive victory in the welterweight division when he clashes with Belal Muhammad in the UFC Vegas 21 main event, and according to Dana White, a win should be enough to finally earn him a title shot.
Edwards (18-3) hasn’t fought in the UFC since defeating Rafael Dos Anjos in July 2019. The Brit’s last four scheduled fights have all been scratched due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Three of those cancellations have been bookings with Khamzat Chimaev, with the other against Tyron Woodley last March.
Chimaev was forced to pull out of UFC Vegas 21 due to lingering coronavirus symptoms. Muhammad accepted the fight just five days after his win over Dhiego Lima at UFC 258.
According to UFC President Dana White, who addressed Edwards’ status in the welterweight division as he prepares to compete for the first time since 2019. Leon has a 10-2 overall record and is currently riding an eight-fight win streak as he closes in on the top of the UFC welterweight division.
“100 percent [he’s next],” White told BT Sport when asked about Edwards’ chances for a title shot with a win at UFC Vegas 21.
The only problem that Edwards might find is that, while he might be in line for a title shot, he may have to let Jorge Masvidal get his rematch with UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman first. Though White wouldn’t confirm that Masvidal and Usman would be TUF coaches, he did suggest that was the promotion’s plan.
All signs seem to point to welterweight champion Kamaru Usman facing off with Jorge Masvidal later this year. As of now, there’s no deal done for the fight to happen, but White knows it’s the matchup Usman wants after a short-notice win over Masvidal this past July following a positive COVID-19 test from fellow welterweight contender Gilbert Burns.
“[Usman] was telling me that he doesn’t like the fact that Masvidal has an excuse,” White relayed when addressing the welterweight champion. “So he said, ‘I want to make it so this guy has a great camp and then there’s no excuses.”
Belal Muhammad wants to steal Edwards’ title shot
Muhammad, who picked up a decision win over Dhiego Lima last month, thinks a stoppage win over Edwards could earn him a title shot against champ Kamaru Usman.
“This is the fight I want. I want to fight the best guys,” Muhammad told reporters at UFC Fight Night 187 media day. “All the best guys are sitting on the sidelines, but we’re prizefighters. This is what we get paid to do. So for me, to get an ESPN main event against the No. 3 guy in the world, against a guy Dana White said if he wins he’s going to fight for the title next, boom, I’m going to go out there and steal his shot.”
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