Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed that verbal agreements are in place between the fighters with contracts expected to be finalized shortly. MMA reporter Ariel Helwani was first to report the news.
UFC 269 takes place Dec. 11 at a location and venue to be determined. The pay-per-view event, which is headlined by a lightweight title fight between champ Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier, was expected to feature a title rematch between flyweight champ Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo. But according to one source, that fight is expected to be rescheduled to UFC 270, which takes place Jan. 22 at a venue and location to be announced.
The planned booking between Masvidal and Edwards arrives three weeks after Edwards agreed to a fight with Masvidal if it took place before the end of the year. Although sour at the UFC for again delaying a title shot, the U.K. standout said he “cannot lose” and would prove his case with a win.
Masvidal previously had targeted a meeting in 2022, a timeline Edwards said he wouldn’t abide because it could endanger a showdown with the winner of an upcoming welterweight title rematch between champ Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 6 at UFC 268.
As the owner of a nine-fight winning streak, Edwards accused the UFC of “trying to get me beat” and dismissed Masvidal, whom he said he’d called out for three years to no avail. Although the two appeared to be on a collision course after their backstage incident, Edwards said Masvidal turned down several offers to fight.
Masvidal, of course, is on the comeback trial after a knockout loss to Usman in his most recent appearance at UFC 261. It was his second straight setback to the champ after a short-notice title shot at UFC 251 resulted in a decision defeat.
Edwards was on the short list for a title shot when he took on Nate Diaz at UFC 263, but a last-second scare courtesy of a Diaz punch deflated his hopes at challenging for gold. It was another bad run of luck after the Brit’s pandemic-delayed return was spoiled by a no-contest due to his illegal eye poke against Belal Muhammad.
Usman is the last person to defeat Edwards in the cage when a 2015 meeting ended in a unanimous decision loss.