Despite winning the majority of his fight against Nate Diaz in lopsided fashion, Leon Edwards still had to deal with a lot of negativity after he got wobbled and nearly dropped in the fifth and final round.
In fact, Edwards failing to shut out Diaz or possibly finish him was apparently enough that UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman suddenly lost interest in possibly facing the British fighter as his next opponent.
Usman had previously praised Edwards as someone who he’d likely face again in the future after Usman won their first meeting back in 2015. The reigning welterweight champion has also largely discounted a rematch with Colby Covington despite UFC President Dana White calling him the No. 1 contender repeatedly over the past few months.
After hearing Usman’s comments, Edwards fired back at the idea that he somehow doesn’t deserve an opportunity to compete for the title despite being on a 10-fight undefeated run.
“All these guys making excuses,” Edwards said at the UFC 263 post-fight press conference. “They know I’m the real deal. They know I’m the man for the title shot. They’re all b*tching and making excuses and saying ‘he doesn’t deserve it.’ Then who f*cking does? Colby don’t deserve it. [Tyron] Woodley got injured [in their fight] and now [Covington is] deserving a title shot?
“I didn’t b*tch, I didn’t moan, I took my loss on the chin. I worked my back up to a nine-fight win streak. Who else f*cking deserves it?”
Edwards has argued against Covington receiving the next title shot on numerous occasions, especially with Covington’s only win since having his jaw broken by Usman being a win over Woodley.
Meanwhile, Edwards has been putting in a lot of work to earn his opportunity to fight for UFC gold while also seeking to avenge the last defeat he tasted in his career.
Edwards just doesn’t see how his current win streak can be ignored, especially when compared to every other contender in the welterweight division.
“I feel I should be next for the title shot,” Edwards said. “That’s nine in a row, 10 in a row, there’s no one else that’s doing what I’m doing. I’ve offered to fight everybody. Khamzat [Chimaev], Diaz, Belal [Muhammad], these guys are not even in the top-10.
“I’m the one saying yes, everyone else is b*tching and sitting out and complaining. I’m the one showing up and beating these tough guys. I feel I deserve the next shot for sure.”