Morning Report: Leon Edwards dismisses ‘planned’ confrontation between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal

This week is Super Bowl week and both UFC welterweight champion Usman and BMF champion Jorge Masvidal have found themselves taking in the festivities in Miami, FL. And given their close proximity to each other, the two have ratcheted their rivalry up a few notches, seemingly setting the stage for a major title fight between them later this year. But God love Leon Edwards, he’s still doing his best to stay in the mix.

Earlier in the week, Usman and Masvidal had a public altercation at Super Bowl media day, with the two having to be separated after some very public peacocking. But the validity of the run-in is now being called into questioni. Speaking to ESPN recently, Leon Edwards suggested that the confrontation between Usman and Masvidal this week was a staged event.

“Was it planned? Why are the cameras following him all the way to Usman?,” Edwards said. “… It’s basically planned because they’re walking for like, a minute with a camera behind him. That’s this game we’re in right now, right? It’s the social media era and the WWE era. That’s the way the game is leading at the moment. It is what it is. I’m just focused on my career and doing what I need to do and being what I need to be to achieve what I need to achieve.

“You can tell that’s planned. The camera is walking behind him for a long way before he got to Usman so he was like, ‘Ah, we’re going to go do this.’”

It’s certainly plausible to believe Edwards’ theory. Masvidal has been especially passive aggressively pursuing a fight with Conor McGregor for months but with the McGregor fight looking less and less likely to happen, it would make sense for “Gamebred” to start turning his full attention to a welterweight title shot. Then again, Masvidal is also a man who just doesn’t mind a good confrontation in the first place. After all, Masvidal did famously punch Edwards with “the three piece with the soda” backstage at UFC London last year. In fact, at one point that event looked like it could set up a major fight between the two but instead Masvidal went on to fight for the inaugural BMF title instead. But Edwards believes that a fight with Masvidal is inevitable at this point, and should happen before the year is even out.

“When I get past Tyron Woodley, that fight will be down the line,” Edwards said. “If I don’t fight for the title next, it’ll probably be him in May probably. But that fight will happen this year I think.

“100 percent [I want that fight]. I think it needs to happen. We’ll fight on the street or in the octagon. There will be a fight when we see each other. That fight will happen and we’ll see when it comes.”

In the mean time, Edwards has his own things to worry about other than Usman and Masvidal’s beef. Edwards is currently set to face former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC London in March. Should he win, it will be Edwards’ ninth win in a row in the UFC, a feat which under normal circumstances should guarantee him a title shot. Instead though, with Usman currently sidelined by injury, the whole future of the welterweight division is up in the air. But however it works out, if Masvidal gets first crack at Usman or not, Leon Edwards believes it will all work out for him in the end.

“If I’m busy and I can’t fight, I guess he’s the next in line, so why not?” Edwards concluded when asked about a fight between Usman and Masvidal. “Then after them two fight, I fight the winner of that. Or if not, I’ll fight the champion next – Usman – then after I beat Usman [Masvidal] can fight me for the belt. So anyway it goes, either way, I’m going to fight this year or early next year.”

UFC London takes place on March 21 at the O2 Arena in London, England.


Done. Ronda Rousey: Every day, people tell me to fight again, but ‘it’s no longer a priority in my life’.

Easy. Israel Adesanya on his fight with Yoel Romero: ‘I’ll make it look easy’.

Tragic. Bellator middleweight champ Rafael Lovato grappling with brain condition, on ‘indefinite retirement’.

Cowboy. Donald Cerrone blasts fans’ claim he took a dive at UFC 246 against Conor McGregor.

Tribute. Dominick Reyes wants to wear Kobe Bryant jersey on UFC 247 fight week.


Inside the Octagon.

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Free fight.

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Cris Cyborg, the Grand Slam champion.

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City Kickboxing watching their KOs.

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The altercation.

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UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Diego Ferreira, Alex Perez, and Jamahal Hill.


DC got a Funko Pop character.

Cejudo now coming for Conor.

Phrasing.

Yoel with Darius Leonard of the Colts.

Broken hand.

Ready to go.

Serious.

This looks like it will be excellent.


Chris Bungard (15-5) vs. Brent Primus (9-1); Bellator Dublin, Feb. 22.

Deron Winn (6-1) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (30-12); UFC 248, March 7.

Josh Barnett (35-8) vs. Ronny Markes (19-7); Bellator 241, March 13.

Ketlen Vieira (10-1) vs. Marion Reneau (9-5-1); UFC Sao Paulo, May 9.

Augusto Sakai (14-1-1) vs. Blagoy Ivanov (18-3, 1 NC); UFC Sao Paulo, May 9.


Thanks for reading and see y’all on Monday.


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