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Morning Report: Leon Edwards declares he’s waiting for a title shot, Gilbert Burns responds

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UFC 204 Ceremonial Weigh-in Photos
Leon Edwards
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Leon Edwards is standing his ground.

Edwards, the fourth-ranked welterweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, is unbeaten in his last 10 fights but has been unable to secure a title shot, in part due to a nearly two year absence from the cage, largely due to COVID-19 getting in the way. When he was finally able to fight again, Edwards returned with a disappointing no contest against Belal Muhammad and then faced Nate Diaz in the first ever five round non-title, non-main event fight in UFC history. The bout didn’t go as planned for Edwards, who managed to win a clear unanimous decision but was nearly finished in the final minute of the fight.

Following the win, Edwards again renewed his calls for a title shot but the unfortunate ending tempered interest in the bout and the general consensus among the MMA community seemed to be that Edwards would need to fight again to get a title shot and many suggested it was finally time for Edwards to face Jorge Masvidal. The two have a history dating back to UFC London in 2019 where a backstage altercation resulted in the infamous “three piece with the soda” line. Since then, Edwards has alternated between calling for a fight with Masvidal and calling for a title shot. But with Masvidal having recently lost to welterweight champion Kamaru Usman for a second time, Edwards went on Twitter yesterday to say he has no interest in that fight and to insist that he will only accept a title shot next.

While Masvidal almost certainly won’t care given the myriad other options available to him, another top-ranked welterweight contender was quick to respond. Gilbert Burns has been calling for a fight with Edwards since Edwards’ disappointing win over Diaz at UFC 263 and the two have exchanged hostilities over Twitter with Edwards continually rejecting the idea. That’s a stark change of tune from Edwards who last year was called for a number one contender bout with Burns when Burns’ title shot against Usman was delayed. Burns has not forgotten that bit of theater and fired back at Edwards’ declaration.

Whether Edwards’ gamble will work out is anyone’s guess but things don’t look promising. While Edwards has been sitting out and turning in disappointing performances, Vicente Luque has currently put together a four-fight finishing streak that has garnered the attention of current champion Kamaru Usman. But before Edwards or Luque can get a shot at the welterweight title though, first Usman has to defend his belt in November in a rematch with Colby Covington at UFC 268.


TOP STORIES

Reaction. Dana White reacts to Conor McGregor and Machine Gun Kelly run-in: ‘Crazy sh*t happens in the fight business.’

Praise. Dana White blasts Triller, but praises Anderson Silva: ‘He might actually be the GOAT of combat sports.’

Offer. Jake Paul responds to Dana White, offers wager to fight Jorge Masvidal and book Amanda Nunes vs. Amanda Serrano.

Terrifed. Tyron Woodley responds to Jake Paul calling off rematch: ‘It sounds like he’s just scared to fight.’

Prove it. Michael Chandler responds to Justin Gaethje, claims he is not an ‘anti-vaxxer.’

Trilogy. Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo trilogy booked for UFC 269 in December.

Special. Demetrious Johnson books special rules fight against Muay Thai champ Rodtang Jitmuangnon.

Farewell. Four-time UFC title challenger Joseph Benavidez retires.


VIDEO STEW

The MMA Hour.

Free fight.

The top possible opponents for Yoel Romero.

The UFC signing Alex Pereira.


LISTEN UP

Heavy Hands. Discussing UFC Vegas 37 and Anderson Silva’s greatness.

Jack Slack. A quick discussion on the Contender Series.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Retirement.

Unhappy with Sean O’Malley.

Conor’s recovery.

Fight news coming soon.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Brandon Jenkins (15-7) vs. Zhu Rong (17-4); UFC Vegas 37, Sep. 18.

Anatoly Tokov (29-2) vs. Sharaf Davlatmurodov (18-3-1); Bellator 269, Oct. 23.

Vladimir Tokov (7-1) vs. Aymard Guih (15-11-1); Bellator 269, Oct. 23.

Bibiano Fernandes (24-4) vs. John Lineker (34-9); ONE X, Dec. 5.

Thanh Le (12-2) vs. Garry Tonon (6-0); ONE X, Dec. 5.

Brandon Moreno (19-5-2) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1); UFC 269, Dec. 11.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.