Skip to main content

Leon Edwards, one of just three UFC champions from the United Kingdom in the history of the organisation, has praised the impact of the first-ever, and so far only, Irish champion to have fought in the Octagon.

Edwards, the reigning UFC welterweight champion, has carved out his own little piece of history in the mixed martial arts record books — particularly 18 or so months ago when he became the first person in the promotion to hand defeat to Kamaru Usman as he claimed the 170-pound title with one of the most spectacular head-kick knockouts ever seen in the Octagon.

And according to Edwards, the impact made by McGregor since he made his professional debut, to become the UFC’s first ever simultaneous two-division champion, is near incalculable.

“I think he’s great for the sport,” Edwards told Simon Jordan on the latter’s podcast, as reported by MMA Junkie.

“He has definitely brought the sport forward to the casual fans. He is one of those guys that you either like him or you don’t like him, but he is who he is. What he’s achieved in the sport, you can’t take away from him.

“He did become the first ever two-division world champion. So even though he talks all that sh*t, he is actually a good fighter, as well, behind it. He definitely helped the sport. He didn’t take nothing away from it. He definitely gave more in terms of pushing it into the mainstream.”

Few prizefighters in history have been faced with quite the same media glare as Conor McGregor throughout his career, but Edwards says all of that is just noise and his opinion of the Irishman is defined by his achievements within the sport.

“I’m judging him from the competitive part of it, the self-promotion part of it,” Edwards explained. “His personal life is his own business. I couldn’t give two sh*ts about his personal life.”