Leon Edwards Will Fight Tyron Woodley, But “Rocky” Has Conditions
Leon Edwards is still hoping to land a fight with rival Jorge Masvidal, but if that can't happen, "Rocky" has said he would fight Tyron Woodley, provided the offer matches his conditions.
Leon Edwards has been driving hard for a bout with Jorge Masvidal, but increasingly, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. So what about facing former champ Tyron Woodley? If the UFC matches Edwards’ conditions, “Rocky” says he’s down.
The Edwards – Masvidal rivalry
Ever since Masvidal and Edwards had a backstage scuffle at UFC London this past March, Edwards has been pushing for a scrap with “Gamebred”. Masvidal, however, has made it clear the welterweight isn’t next on his target list. After the rugged vet knocked out Ben Askren at UFC 239 in record time, Masvidal said he was going to wait for a title shot. He also said he’d be interested in facing Conor McGregor, but Dana White has shot that down.
Then, after Nate Diaz’s win over Anthony Pettis at UFC 241, he called out Masvidal. The latter has said he’s more than interested in that fight, and the consensus is the UFC will try to get that bout signed.
So what about Woodley?
Thanks to an eight fight winning streak, Edwards has moved into the #4 position in the UFC’s welterweight rankings. As a result, the British fighter believes he’s earned a shot at the 170 crown. Since Colby Covington is expected to fight champion Kamaru Usman next, chances are the UFC will call on Edwards to fight in the interim. So what about fighting Woodley?
While speaking to MMA Fighting before UFC 241 last month, Edwards had this to say:
“If it’s guaranteed a title shot next then probably,” Edwards said. “Like I said, I want that Masvidal fight. That’s the biggest fight to make. I feel like me and Woodley, we’ve got no animosity, there’s nothing there other than a chance to beat a former world champion.
“I feel Masvidal is the fight to make and that’s the one I’m pushing for. But if they come with Woodley with good money, I’ll do it as well. Pay me and I’ll show up.”
There’s a lot that makes sense about moving forward with Edwards – Woodley. The latter is ranked #1 in the division, so if Edwards did defeat Woodley, a title shot would almost certainly come next. If Woodley won, however, then you could make the case for him facing the winner of Usman – Covington. After all, Woodley did defend and retain the welterweight title four times, before losing to Usman earlier this year.
Another fight that would surely deliver fireworks is a bout between Edwards and Santiago Ponzinibbio. But, since the Argentine fighter is ranked #8, Edwards and his camp may not be interested in taking that fight. Edwards would have a lot to lose and little to gain.