With the UFC 244 headliner between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal currently up in the air, one man who says he won’t be filling any potential open slots in the Madison Square Garden main event is top welterweight contender — and someone who has in-built history with Masvidal — is Leon Edwards.
Diaz’s participation in the hotly-anticipated fight is in doubt after the Californian announced on social media late Thursday that he had been notified by USADA that he tested positive for “elevated levels” — something which he fiercely disputes. Rather than attempting to sweep the issue under the rug, Diaz says that he won’t compete until his name is cleared.
This obviously presents a headache to the UFC and the New York State Athletic Commission but neither of have as yet taken steps to effectively rule Diaz out of the bout.
However, the uncertainty which now surrounds the fight has led to some fighters (including champion Kamaru Usman) to signal that they may consider stepping in on short notice should the situation require it but England’s Edwards isn’t among them.
Bad news Regarding Nate, I did offer when the fight was made to stay ready but the UFC unfortunately said no. So I won’t be making the trip to NYC. But I will be ready for December 14th
— Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) October 25, 2019
Writing on Twitter on Friday morning, Edwards said: “Bad news Regarding Nate, I did offer when the fight was made to stay ready but the UFC unfortunately said no. So I won’t be making the trip to NYC. But I will be ready for December 14th.”
Edwards and Masvidal have been linked together since their backstage incident in March during the UFC’s event in L0ndon in which the two came to blows following Masvidal’s win against Darren Till. Edwards vocally campaigned for a fight with Masvidal in the following weeks but it was clear that there wasn’t the same level of interest in the fight from the Masvidal camp.
In his tweet, the number 4 ranked Edwards says that he offered to stay in camp and act as a potential replacement should either Diaz or Masvidal drop out of the fight but with that offer not taken up by UFC brass it appears that Edwards is ruling himself out of competing on two weeks’ notice.
Instead Edwards said that he would be ready for the UFC 245 card on December 14th, presumably making himself available to face Masvidal.
But with more information regarding Diaz’s status in the fight expected on Friday there may well be some more twists and turns in this tale before everything is resolved.