In the talent-packed Welterweight division, Champ Kamaru Usman has welcomed and defeated just about all challengers in his tenure. However, there’s one man who’s earned his shot, but is yet to get the nod from the UFC Matchmakers. As Kamaru Usman prepares for a rematch with Colby Covington, Leon “Rocky” Edwards will be sharpening his skills for a rematch of his own with the Champ.
Edwards is 19-3 in his decade-long MMA career, with his most recent loss coming in 2015 to none other than Kamaru Usman. Since that loss, “Rocky” is 9-0-1, including victories over Vicente Luque, Donald Cerrone, Rafael Dos Anjos, and most recently Nate Diaz. As of earlier this month, talks have begun between Edwards and former title challenger Jorge Masvidal. Dana White even hinted at the fight being made in an exclusive interview with Barstool Sports last week.
Although Edwards is open to a fight with Masvidal, “Rocky” has been more than vocal about his desire for a title shot recently. And to be fair, he’s got some pretty good points. He boasts a top-tier resume, and although the majority of his wins have come by decision, they have been dominant performances for the most part. With a win in the prospective fight against Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, Edwards would put himself in the best position possible for a shot at the 170-pound belt.
Edwards’ struggles to get to a title shot have many parallels with that of former UFC title challenger Jeremy “Gumby” Horn. After notching wins over Chuck Liddell, Forest Griffin, Chael Sonnen (2x), Dean Lister, Travis Fulton, and many more, Horn had passed his fighting prime by the time he rematched with Chuck Liddell for the UFC Light Heavyweight belt in 2005.
He lost via TKO and could never put together another streak like he did before his title shot. However, UFC fans should expect a different path from Edwards. He looks better now than ever, and he’s right on the cusp of a title shot. As he continues to improve each time he enters the octagon, a rematch between Edwards and Usman should be on every fight fan’s wish list.
No other welterweight contender has a streak like Edwards or the victories over as many notable names on their resume. He has solidified himself among the top 170-pound fighters in the world, and he’s ready to prove it again when the opportunity presents itself.