Leon Edwards rejects next UFC title challenger after Kamaru Usman win

Leon Edwards has shut down the idea of facing Colby Covington following his win against Kamaru Usman at UFC 286.

Edwards, 31, put an end to his rivalry with former champion Usman by winning a majority decision at The O2 arena in London to make the first defence of his welterweight title. ‘Rocky’ executed a perfect gameplan as he neutralised the takedown offence from Usman over five rounds to win by scores of 48-46, 48-46 and 47-47.

UFC boss Dana White announced that Covington will be next in line for Edwards following his win against Usman, but the Brummie isn’t so keen on facing his next challenger. Covington hasn’t fought in over a year and Edwards doesn’t see why his UFC rival deserves a title shot when other challengers in his weight class have been more active than him.

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“I don’t know how Colby makes sense,” Edwards said. “He hasn’t fought for more than a year and a half. There are other active guys in the division. I’m the king now, I’ve earned my way and should decide who is next. Pay-per-view wise if Jorge Masvidal beats Gilbert Burns, that’s the fight to make. I had to fight 12 times for a title shot and he [Covington] said he didn’t know who I was.

Edwards and Masvidal have an intense rivalry dating back to an altercation that took place four years ago after their respective fights at UFC London. Masvidal left Edwards with a cut under his eye after punching him several times during a brief scuffle and ‘Rocky’ has been hoping to settle his feud with ‘Gamebred’ in the octagon ever since the altercation.

Leon Edwards isn't keen on facing Colby Covington next

Leon Edwards isn’t keen on facing Colby Covington next

‘I’m the king, I’ll decide who is next. Masvidal, I don’t like him so that’s the one I want. I think it would be an easy fight for me, he’s a weirdo. Colby hasn’t been fighting, not injured either so how does he deserve it. There’s no storyline for the Colby fight, it’s weird,” Edwards added.

Masvidal looks to get back in the win column for the first time in over three years when he faces Burns at UFC 287 next month. Since being crowned as the inaugural ‘BMF’ champion after stopping Nate Diaz in November 2019, Masvidal has been beaten twice by Usman and once by Covington.

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