Despite having been inactive for well over a year, Leon Edwards remain insistent of his position within the UFC’s welterweight contenders.
The Birmingham man, currently in the midst of an eight-fight win streak, hasn’t been able to consolidate his role in the title picture for a variety of reason, not least the fact that his March main event with former champion Tyron Woodley was cancelled on the week of the event due to the coronavirus pandemic. The man who replaced him against Woodley, Gilbert Burns, parlayed his subsequent win into an announced title bout with champion Kamaru Usman — something which Edwards feels that he, in fact, is deserving of.
But with the proposed December date for Usman vs. Burns now bumped until next year, Edwards says that this is an ideal opportunity for him to face the Brazilian — with the winner getting the fight with Usman that they both desire.
December 12th title fight has been postponed. #UFC256 needs a main event! @GilbertDurinho you little tree stump, you have nowhere to run now!
Let’s see who the REAL number one contender is! @ufc @UFCEurope @danawhite
— Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) October 6, 2020
“December 12th title fight has been postponed. UFC 256 needs a main event!” Edwards wrote. “Gilbert Burns, you little tree stump, you have nowhere to run now! Let’s see who the REAL number one contender is!”
Edwards’ inactivity, though, is beginning to become an issue. His last win was an impressive one, against Rafael Dos Anjos, but prize-fighting has long been a ‘what have you done for me lately’ kind of game and with Burns’ win against Woodley fresh in the memory, that shows why the Brazilian has been ushered into the top contender position.
It should absolutely be noted that Edwards’ absence from the cage isn’t his fault as he has been calling for numerous bouts for much of the past year but he seems to have adopted a ‘Burns or nothing’ policy, ruling out fights with fellow top-ranked fighter Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and the division’s rising star, Khamzat Chimaev.
It remains to be seen exactly which direction this will go in but Burns has initially appeared hesitant, responding on Twitter by calling Edwards “delusional”.