Leon Edwards plans to return in October and dismisses Colby Covington’s statement about him being stripped of his title

Leon Edwards, the current UFC welterweight champion, is taking time off to heal some nagging injuries and would like to see the division determine a true No. 1 contender before he returns to the octagon. Despite rumors of a potential fight against Colby Covington in July, Edwards believes that a quick turnaround isn’t feasible and is instead looking towards a return to competition in the fall.

While UFC President Dana White has stated that Covington is next in line for a title shot, Edwards doesn’t understand how that makes any sense given the current landscape in the division. Covington hasn’t fought in over a year with his most recent win coming in March 2022 against Jorge Masvidal, which put him at 2-2 in his past four fights.

Edwards believes that Covington needs to get one more win over another established contender like Gilbert Burns or Belal Muhammad before he deserves a title shot. Edwards states that Covington “turned down Gilbert Burns, turned down Khamzat Chimaev, turned down Belal Muhammad and then come back to a title shot? It’s weird. It’s something that I’ve never seen before.”

Edwards believes that Covington, Burns, or Muhammad should get another win to then set up his next title defense later this year. He refuses to reward anybody for just sitting, waiting and just hoping for a shot at gold. Instead, he suggests that they should fight each other to prove themselves as the true No. 1 contender.

Edwards himself worked hard to earn his position and believes that these fighters are looking for handouts and freebies. He had no formal conversations with the UFC regarding his next fight and has not received any ultimatums that he has to face Covington.

Edwards laughs off Covington’s suggestion that he would be stripped of his title if he didn’t accept the fight. Edwards reiterates that there is no fight offer and that Covington is just talking to talk. Edwards is willing to fight whoever, whenever, as long as they deserve it and the timeframe is right.


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