Leon Edwards has announced that he does not believe there are any opponents in his weight class who can provide a worthy challenge for his throne. This statement comes ahead of his title defense against Colby Covington at UFC 296, scheduled to be held on Dec. 16. Edwards argues that nobody left at welterweight can make him excited for another fight, suggesting a greater ambition waiting for him after his fight with Covington.
Edwards won the UFC 278 title from Kamaru Usman in a shocking upset, later defending the title successfully in a rematch at UFC 286 in March. Many had speculated that the next title shot would be granted to Belal Muhammad, who has been due for a while. However, Dana White was insistent on giving the opportunity to Covington, who’s been inactive since his victory over Jorge Masvidal in March 2022. If Edwards emerges victorious over Covington at UFC 296, he has stated he will refrain from defending his title at 170 pounds.
In a recent interview, Edwards surprised fans by revealing that he is focusing on becoming a double champion, by eyeing a shot at the middleweight title. The upcoming UFC 297 title fight between Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis is of particular interest to Edwards, who sees both as suitable matchups. Edwards feels particularly drawn to the idea of moving up to challenge the middleweight champion, a sentiment he openly discussed during the interview.
Khamzat Chimaev, the winner of the UFC 294 match against Kamaru Usman, has responded to Edwards’ announcement to move up. Chimaev ridiculed the ambitions of his comrade, writing on social media, “Colby wants to go 155. Leon wants 185. They’re both terrified of me.” Moreover, Edwards is hoping to fight again quickly, even expressing interest in making an appearance on the UFC 300 card, expected in April. He later added, “Next would be perfect, to be honest. The division right now, there’s no one that’s exciting in the division so for me to go out there to do that, that would be perfect. UFC 300, I like that. To put me on that card would be massive. Let’s see.”