Leon Edwards Sounds Off On ‘Deluded’ Khamzat Chimaev

UFC title contender Leon Edwards returns to action for the first time in 2021 when he faces Khamzat Chimaev.

Edwards stopped by Submission Radio to discuss Chimaev and more recently.

On trying to fight Magny or Chiesa before Khamzat and do back-to-back fights

“I spoke to the UFC and said, okay, the co-main event, which was Magny and Chiesa. I was like, move one of these guys to the main event and I’ll fight any of them guys, and I’ll fight in March as well. I’ll do both back-to-back. But they decided against it, they said they wanted to keep the fight with me and Khamzat.”

On UFC trying to make this fight to rush Chimaev up the division

“They probably want to push this kid up, trying to rush him, right? Like they do everyone else. They’re trying to get him a big win under his belt, trying to push him towards the title, probably. So that’s probably why they’re trying to keep the fight going. But they’re in for a rude awakening come March 13th, and I cannot wait to get my title shot after this.”

Why the Masvidal fight didn’t workout

“They just basically said he doesn’t want to fight. I said, give me Jorge, and they said, he doesn’t want to fight you, and that’s it. So, they put it to him, he turned it down, and that’s it. You cannot force a man to fight, you know what I mean? He doesn’t want to fight. He talks all this BMF shit but he doesn’t want to fight, and that’s just the bottom line of it.”

Edwards still being happy to give Masvidal a title shot just to “whoop his ass” if he becomes champ

I think he’ll always find some excuse not to fight me. When I win the belt, he’ll probably try to call for me then and try to fight me then. And even then I’ll probably give him a go at the belt.”

“I just want to whoop his ass. So, if that doesn’t get him into the cage with me, then… let’s see.”

On the upside for Edwards of fighting and beating Chimaev

“For me the upside is, I think take out the champion, right? He’s one of the biggest names in the division, I think, from how much they’re putting into him, how much attention they’re giving him and how much Dana’s getting behind him. So, if I go out there and beat the guy that they’re picking to win, that they want to win anyway, then that puts me in a perfect position for a big title fight. So, that’s the only reason, really. At the time, people like Wonderboy was on offer and stuff like that, and I didn’t think they had the same buzz around to get me to where I need to get to. And I’m on an eight-fight win streak, I beaten all these guys already, and so that’s it really. They put all the hype around him, [so for me] just to go out there and show him that I am on another level, and that’s it, that’s the hype, nothing else.”

On Khamzat saying he’ll “demolish” Edwards from watching highlights from his loss to Usman

“He just loves to talk, right? He just talks just to talk. If he’s judging me on the Usman fight (laughs) which is like five, six years ago, then he’s in for a rude awakening, I’ll tell you that. What’s he got to offer, really? I think he’s a novice for what he does. The shots he throws, the technique he uses is quite novice. And I remember being there, I remember being a 9-0 guy, you know what I mean? Ah, it is what it is. He talks whatever he wants to say, and we’ll see come March.”

I want to test his grappling, I want to test all of it. I’ve seen his fights, I’ve seen all his wrestling matches and everything, and I want to test it all. His grappling, his striking. Everything. His Jiu Jitsu, his inside fighting. I want to test it all. Let’s see if he can keep up with it.”

“I think the guy’s record of people who he’s fought is like 6-10 or something, all together, all the record that they’ve put together in the UFC. I’m on an eight-fight win streak alone in the UFC. Opponent-wise, there’s levels. You cannot compare me to no one that he’s fought in his career.”

“There’s being confident, then there’s being deluded. It’s two different things. I’ve never been deluded. I think he’s deluded. And obviously if everyone blows smoke up your ass, then you’re gonna start believing it. And if that’s all it is and everyone blows smoke up his ass that he’s the best thing since sliced bread, so you’re gonna start believing it. I think that’s all it is.”

If the UFC has confirmed that the next title shot is on the line

“If I beat Khamzat I believe I get a title shot, from what I’ve heard. So, after I go out there and beat him, I should fight the winner of Usman and Burns. Which is like a month apart, right? So, it’s perfect timing for me to step in and fight for the world title.”

On why he deserves the title shot over the winner of Masvidal/Covington

“Colby got knocked out under a year ago. Masvidal got beat under a year ago. I’m on the most fight win streak in the division, apart from the champion. So, like I said, this is my ninth win in a row, and so that’s it, really. I feel like I’ve done more than everyone else, and it’s now my time for a title shot.”

On Nate Diaz wanting to stay at 170 and fight Dustin Poirier

“It is what it is. I don’t think Nate is a championship fighter. He’s a good fighter, but I can’t see him holding a world title in the UFC. He’s a very tough, durable opponent, but I just can’t see him holding a world title in the UFC. Especially at welterweight, anyway.”

“It’s weird right? I think if you want to fight a lightweight, you should go to lightweight, right? If you want to fight at welterweight, then fight one of the welterweights. It’s like, I don’t know. I don’t really pay much attention to it.”

Usman/Burns prediction

“If I’m putting money on it, Usman probably. If I’m putting money on it. But Burns is looking confident from what I’ve seen on social media. He’s looking like he knows something that we don’t know, you know what I mean? In training camp, or I don’t know what went down when they was training, but training is training and fighting is fighting. It’s two different things. So, let’s see. It will be entertaining. Either or, whoever wins, I’m next and I’m ready to go.”

Wanting to go out there and finish Khamzat to send a message to the UFC

“I’m going out there for the finish. I feel like I need to get a finish to prove my case, to make a stronger case for the world title. So, I’m going out there for a finish. I’m going out there to test everything that he’s about. So, I’m looking to finish.”

On the last time Edwards was focused on getting a finish leading into a fight

“For me, I think for a while I was fighting just to prove myself. Cause people some would go, ‘you can’t go five rounds’. So, I would fight to fight five rounds. ‘You can’t wrestle’. So, I was like fine, so I can wrestle. Each fight I was trying to prove a case in each fight. This fight I’m just going to go out there and be myself and go out there and just dominate. And it’s been a while now that I’ve gotten like that. I want to fight, I want to go out there and compete. So, I’m going to be looking to be aggressive and look for the finish and test everything he’s about and get that victory.”

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