After a memorable night at UFC London, Leon Edwards is still awaiting his next step.
On that night, Edwards impressively outpointed Gunnar Nelson before finding himself embroiled in a backstage brawl with Jorge Masvidal. Those events certainly put ‘Rocky’ in the news and this week, he returned there, suggesting himself as a replacement for Tyron Woodley. He’s since shown interest in a bout with Rafael dos Anjos but as of right now, remains waiting.
“There’s no news at the moment, I’m still pushing for a big fight,” Edwards told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast. “I’m trying to get that Robbie Lawler fight, but I haven’t heard anything yet. Robbie is a former champion, he’s a big name in the sport. I think I could go in there and dismantle Robbie and I should have a title shot after that. Since the weekend, RDA has gone and got a good win under his belt. That would be a good fight as well.”
Like most onlookers, Edwards was impressed by dos Anjos’ victory over Lee, “it was a solid performance, he done really well,” he said. “He was on a two-fight skid before that and to come back and beat somebody like Lee, it proves a point. He’s a former world champion as well, so I think that’s another good fight for me.”
In many ways, the British contender currently appears to be at a key point of his emerging career. “I’m on a seven-fight win streak now, one more fight puts me on an eight-fight streak and I would accept nothing else but a title shot when that happens. It’s just a matter of waiting now, but I really feel like after one more I’m going to be ready. I just need a high ranked opponent to prove that I deserve that title shot.
“I’m trying to bridge the gap to the title. For me to take on some random opponent, that does nothing for me. I feel like it’s got to be a top-five opponent next and then a title shot. Realistically, I should already be in title contention. My win streak is the second longest in the division next to the champion.”
However, Edwards’ own aspirations explain his foes’ potential hesitancy. “I think that’s the problem; none of these guys want to lose,” he explained. “Robbie Lawler probably only has two fights left in him, I think he’s probably picking his fights very carefully. I’m dangerous to all of these guys. I’m well rounded; I’m one of the best strikers and one of the best grapplers. I’m out-grappling Gunnar Nelson, I’m out striking “Cowboy” Cerrone. I want some respect on my name. I know I’ll be a world champion.”
The current world champion is of course Kamaru Usman, an old foe of Edwards’. In fact, Usman gave Edwards his last loss in a fight now etched in ‘Rocky’s mind. “I’ve watched that fight many times and I’ve played through it in my head many times. I was a very young man back then, when me and him first fought. Now, I know that I could go out there and beat him. I’ve improved leaps and bounds since the first time I competed against him. I know I’ll be the champion if I get that rematch.”
It's unclear how far Edwards truly is from a title bout but considering his form, a major fight almost certainly awaits.