Early this year, Muhammad stepped in on short-notice to face Edwards in the main event of UFC Vegas 21. It was a big opportunity for Muhammad but it ended in controversy as just a few seconds into the second round, Edwards poked Muhammad in the eye, resulting in the fight being stopped as a no-contest. Afterwards, Muhammad called for a rematch but Edwards was entirely uninterested in one and the UFC moved on. As fate would have it though, both men competed on the main card of UFC 263 earlier this month, with Edwards facing fan-favorite Nate Diaz and Muhammad fighting long-time UFC standout Demian Maia. Both men picked up unanimous decision wins that night and now, Muhammad believes its the perfect time for a rematch.
“If you’re seeing what makes sense, that makes the most sense out of everything because everyone else is booked,” Muhammad told MMAJunkie. “But you know, people want to be butt hurt and cry and say I’m salty or whatever but if Colby gets that fight, what is Leon gonna do, sit out another six to eight months? You just had a whole year, year and a half off, do you want to get paid? The whole point of this is to get paid. So why not take this fight if I’m such an easy fight, an easy payday?”
Unfortunately for Muhammad, sitting out is exactly what Edwards intends to do. Though Edwards was nearly knocked out by Diaz in the final minute of their fight, he ultimately won a clear decision and is currently on 10-fight unbeaten streak in the division. Given that, Edwards has said that he will sit and wait for his shot at the title, but Muhammad doesn’t believe that’s a viable option for Edwards at this point.
“For him, the worst thing that could have happened to him was the way that whole Nate Diaz fight happened,” Muhammad said. “If he went in there, pulled a (Jorge) Masvidal, killed him, murdered him, then Dana White has to give you the title fight. But you went out there, you played it a little bit safe, you dominated it but then that last 30 seconds you got rocked and now every single fan out there - you could have stolen all of his fans but you didn’t.... You probably lost more fans than you gained in that one just because of the way it happened and you didn’t earn yourself a title fight.”
Unfortunately for Edwards, Muhammad may be right. After UFC 263, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman said basically the same thing, and UFC President Dana White declared that Colby Covington would be getting the next title shot. And while Edwards maintains he’s content to sit and wait, the reality is, the welterweight division moves fast and should he remain on the sidelines, Muhammad argues, Edwards will just get left behind.
“I feel like it has to happen, the way that fight ended,” Muhammad said. “For me, if Colby does get it, it should be me against Leon. I’ve won nine of my last 10, he’s on a ten-fight winning streak, but who has he really beaten? You beat ‘55er in (Rafael) Dos Anjos, you beat a ‘55er in (Donald) Cerrone, you beat a ‘55er in Nate Diaz. You haven’t beaten any 170-pounders that are ranked except for (Vicente) Luque but that was a while back and Luque has been on a tear since then. You haven’t really beaten a top contender.... I’m gonna keep moving up regardless and if you want to keep waiting on the sideline, you’re only making yourself look bad.”
He’s back! The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani returns to MMA Fighting this August.
The Rise of Alexander Volkov.
Nate Diaz at UFC 263 weigh-ins.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Both men in the gym.
Kanako Murata. Ouch.
Big John on ringside physicians.
It comes down to the experience of the Ringside Physician. Everyone thinks all doctors working fights are the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. Great RP’s understand the difference between taking care of a fighter who is hurt or allowing a hurt fighter to continue https://t.co/iCdgDNP4x1— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) June 22, 2021
Sage looking like a light heavyweight.
Jeremiah Wells (8-2-1) vs. Warlley Alves (14-4); UFC Vegas 30, June 26.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.