Leon Edwards criticizes Jorge Masvidal for withdrawing from UFC 269, focuses on Usman

Leon Edwards criticizes Jorge Masvidal for withdrawing from UFC 269, focuses on Usman

UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards says he was not surprised by Jorge Masvidal’s recent withdrawal from his scheduled fight at UFC 269 next month, and has now turned all his focus on a title fight against Kamaru Usman on 2022.

England’s Edwards told ESPN that he had heard some troubling things about Masvidal’s camp prior to his withdrawal from the bout and that he doesn’t think Masvidal ever wanted the fight at all.

“I knew he was going to do it,” Edwards said. “I heard some news that he looked a little fat, he still looked chubby. To be honest, I didn’t think he was training for that. I always knew he was going to run away. Three years have passed since the incident in London and he has been me dodging ever since. “

UFC commercial director Hunter Campbell told ESPN last week that Masvidal withdrew from the fight with an undisclosed injury. The former two-time welterweight title challenger has not publicly commented on the injury.

Edwards (19-3) said he has asked about Masvidal’s condition, but has not received further details.

“I think he’s a fraud and he’s doing what he needs to to get out of the fight,” Edwards said. “He knows that once he loses to me, where will he go?”

There has been a high level of interest in a showdown between Edwards and Masvidal (35-15) since a 2019 backstage fight in London. Masvidal reached out to Edwards after each of them won their respective bouts at UFC Fight Night and hit him with a “three pieces and a soda” combo that immediately went viral.

Edwards said he cannot imagine a scenario where a fight makes sense down the road, adding that he believes Masvidal, 37, will retire from the sport in 2022.

The UFC has not announced any future plans for Edwards or its defending welterweight champion Usman, but Edwards said he believes he has the support of the promotion to compete for the next title. Edwards fought Usman once in 2015 and lost by unanimous decision. He hasn’t lost since.

“I feel that [el UFC] He sees it, “Edwards said.” Now they think I deserve it. There is no one else for Usman to fight. I’m the type that says ‘yes’ all the time. I’m the guy who fights. I’m sorry about the promotion and I’m on the same page, let’s just say that. “

Usman (20-1) is coming off his fifth title defense in less than three years. He’s finished three of his last five knockout wins, but Edwards believes fans will see a different version of Usman when they meet again.

“Usman definitely fell in love with his hands,” Edwards said. “He definitely believes in them. He’s challenging [al campeón mundial de boxeo Canelo Álvarez]. He really thinks he’s an extraordinary puncher. Fair play for him, but I know when we fight, he’ll be worried about takedowns. I don’t think it will be a foot strike fight. I think it will be more one of a fighter versus a puncher. I’m looking forward to it. “

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