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Jorge Masvidal still welcomes Leon Edwards fight but doesn’t see him beating Kamaru Usman at UFC 278

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jorge Masvidal still welcomes the chance to settle an old grudge with Leon Edwards, but he doesn’t expect a UFC title to be up for grabs when they meet.

The bad blood between the welterweights dates back to 2019, when Masvidal and Edwards briefly brawled backstage after UFC London. The altercation led to Masvidal’s infamous quote about dishing out a “three piece and a soda” after he was captured on video hitting Edwards.

The beef was never settled in the octagon, and Edwards is just days away from challenging Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title in the main event of UFC 278. As much as Masvidal would love the chance to take the belt from a victorious Edwards, he doesn’t see that happening.

“I don’t [see Leon Edwards winning] to tell you the truth,” Masvidal told MMA Fighting. “It’s a fight, anything can happen. There’s no 1,000 percent winning for anybody in this sport. I don’t care if you’re undefeated. It’s just a matter of time. I think Usman wins more times than Leon wins if they were to fight five times.”

According to Masvidal, the difference really comes down to Usman being the better overall fighter; the champ has a suffocating grappling game at his disposal.

While he doesn’t discount an upset, Masvidal still believes Usman will be hold the belt after Saturday.

“I think [Usman] is a little more complete, and at the end of the day, just the wrestling, it will come down to the wrestling,” Masvidal explained. “On the feet, Leon’s a little bit more polished, maybe a little bit more variety with setups or attacks, but Usman’s wrestling, I think he’ll keep Leon honest to where he won’t open up as he would with a lot of guys. I see Usman winning.”

Regardless of the outcome, Masvidal would absolutely accept a future fight with Edwards. He really likes his chances in that potential matchup.

As much as he’s struggled against high-level wrestlers in recent fights, Masvidal knows Edwards doesn’t have the ability to put him down on the canvas like Usman or Colby Covington have done in the past.

And when it comes to striking, Masvidal is confident he would do the same thing to Edwards in the cage that he did to him backstage in London three years ago. But this time, he might add a little dessert onto that combo.

“I think naturally I’m faster than him,” Masvidal said. “I know I’m smarter than him. I have more power. We’ve fought a lot of common opponents and he couldn’t do anything to them but give them a split decision. I put those same guys on stretchers.

“I do worry well with the strikers as everybody knows. It’s like those wrestlers, those guys who have wrestled since they were 7 years old. They can take me out of my comfort zone, put me on my back and not allow me to use all my tools where I have some problems. Leon’s not that guy. He doesn’t have that next level wrestling or endurance. I know he takes a lot of guys down, but the caliber of takedowns and the opponents that he does it to, it’s not me so I don’t see his grappling being a problem for a me. The striking, I welcome it. Let’s find out. Let’s go.”

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