There is one fighter who already is throwing his name into the hat as the next welterweight title challenger and that person is Leon Edwards.
“I’m just happy that the division (has) got some movement to it,” Edwards told MMA Junkie. “For a while, it’s been stagnant and nothing was happening, so it’s good to see them fighting. I got history with both men and I’d love to fight the winner.”
Edwards and Gilbert Burns, who was originally set to challenge for the title at UFC 251, are the only fighters in the UFC Welterweight Division top five to not challenge for the UFC Welterweight Title.
The fighter says he would’ve already challenged for the UFC Welterweight Title, but the coronavirus pandemic altered those plans.
“We both lost opportunities to coronavirus,” Edwards said. “For me, I couldn’t travel because of coronavirus and that’s the only reason (Burns) got to fight Woodley. Same as the title shot: I couldn’t travel because of coronavirus and they offered me a title shot, so we both lost opportunities to the same thing. So I can’t see why they would look over me when I’ve got the most wins in the division (compared) to the champion.”
UFC 251 takes place on Saturday, July 11 from Fight Island in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi with Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.