Jorge Masvidal & Nate Diaz ‘Don’t Want to Fight’

Nate Diaz & Jorge Masvidal

Getty Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz.

It’s been a long road for England’s Leon Edwards to get back inside the UFC’s Octagon, but if everything goes according to plan, he will make his anticipated walk on Saturday night.

In his first fight since July 2019, “Rocky” will look to extend his win streak to nine and secure his No. 3 ranking in the welterweight division. He’s taking on No. 13 ranked Belal Muhammad in the main event of UFC Vegas 21.

Edwards (18-3) has not competed since defeating former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. The top-ranked 170-pound fighter has been scheduled for four fights in the past year, one with Tyron Woodley and three with Khamzat Chimaev, however due to COVID-19, they have all fallen apart.

Enter Muhammad (18-3).

Edwards was scheduled to fight Chimaev on March 13, however the Russian was forced out of the bout due to lingering effects from the coronavirus. Adamant to compete, Rocky made his way down the list of potential opponents and landed on “Remember the Name.”

Leon Edwards & Belal Muhammad

Getty(L-R) Leon Edwards and Belal Muhammad face off during the UFC weigh-in at UFC APEX on March 12, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Edwards Hoped to Fight the Likes of Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz, However ‘They Don’t Want to Fight’

Edwards was not willing to wait around for the bigger names or higher-ranked opponents in the division. Although Muhammad is a talented top-15 fighter on a four-fight win streak, he isn’t at the top of welterweight like No. 1 Colby Covington or No. 4 Jorge Masvidal.

He also isn’t a name like Nate Diaz.

After the fight with Chimaev fell apart for the third time, Rocky knew one thing: he was fighting on March 13. He challenged Covington, Masvidal and Diaz via social media to step up and fight him.

“We all know that b**** Jorge will be nowhere to be seen when it comes to fighting me,” Edwards tweeted last month while searching for an opponent.

Rocky took aim at Covington as well, writing, “Colby can get this work too. Then the title next. Its strap season #anybodycangetit.”

He also challenged Diaz via Twitter. However, none of the three stars signed on the dotted line, so Rocky worked down the rankings until he got to Muhammad, who was eager to take the fight. Remember the Name fought last month, defeating Dhiego Lima via unanimous decision.

“All these guys talk on social media, but they don’t want to fight,” Edwards told Heavy.

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Edwards Also Won’t Wait Around for a Title Fight, Hopes to Have an Active 2021

Many have argued that should Edwards get his hand raised at UFC Vegas 21, he should be fighting next for the championship. UFC president Dana White also recently told BT Sport that with a solid win over Muhammad, Edwards will earn a title shot.

However, 170-pound king Kamaru Usman seems set on rematching Masvidal later this year. At this point, it’s unclear if the UFC will go with Masvidal or Edwards.

And if the promotion does go with “Gamebred,” don’t expect Rocky to wait around. He told Heavy that he doesn’t want to wait around for a title shot if it seems too far away. Rocky wants to fight at least three times this year, making up for lost time inside the Octagon.

If Edwards defeats Muhammad, and Masvidal receives the next title fight against Usman, a fight between Covington and Edwards would seemingly be the best choice to determine the next No. 1 contender.

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