With UFC title fight off table, Leon Edwards targets Colby Covington in quick turnaround

With his long for the next UFC welterweight title shot unfinished, Leon Edwards is turning his attention to a battle with Colby Covington.

Edwards (18-3 Mixed Martial Arts, 10-2 UFC) went back to the octagon for the very first time in 20 months this previous Saturday and headlined UFC Battle Night 187 vs. short-notice replacement Belal Muhammad, who substituted Khamzat Chimaev. The bout ended in anticlimactic style when an unexpected eye poke from Edwards caused a no contest.

With a nine-fight unbeaten streak, Edwards revealed little interest in a rematch and rather pressed to challenge champ Kamaru Usman. Simply days later on, however, Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal was revealed as the UFC 261 headliner on April 24.

That has actually required Edwards to move expectations, and he informed UFC analyst Joe Rogan on a current edition of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast that he’s looking for a quick turn-around versus Covington (16-2 Mixed Martial Arts, 11-2 UFC) in what relatively would be an indisputable title remover.

“I’d like to be back straight away,” Edwards stated. “The fight (with Muhammad) was one round. I didn’t get to get in my flow. (I want to fight) straight away, really. I feel like May. We’re trying to get Colby Covington, so we’ll see what he says. So May, early June. We’ll see. But I want to be active this year. I had a long year-and-a-half off, so if we can bang them out, I’m going to keep banging them out.”


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Although Edwards doesn’t always concur Masvidal is worthy of a rematch for the belt after losing an uneven choice to Usman last July, he comprehends why it’s taking place.

He understands it’s a huge cash defend the UFC, and in spite of his history with both guys, he’s positive Usman will still be the male holding the strap when he arrives.

“Surprised (UFC booked the rematch)? No,” Edwards stated. “Because it’s about money, right? Putting asses in the seats. I think the fight 10 out of 10 times, Usman (wins) nine probably. It’s a good, entertaining fight for the fans, but as martial artists, it’s just one of them fights. Usman’s going to go out there and grapple him probably. I’ll be watching for sure. But if I had to put money on it, I would probably go Usman for the win again.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.