Leon Edwards says Jorge Masvidal fight will happen 'in the street or in the cage
Leon Edwards has Rafael dos Anjos to deal with on Saturday night and UFC title ambitions on his mind, but he has not forgotten about his beef with Jorge Masvidal.
Edwards takes on RDA in San Antonio this weekend with the winner very much in the welterweight title hunt in the coming months.
Masvidal is another name in that mix after back-to-back knockouts of Darren Till and Ben Askren, but it could be that neither Rocky nor Gamebred get a crack at the gold, and end up fighting each other.
After both men won at UFC London in March, words and then punches were exchanged backstage, leaving Edwards with a nasty cut on his face, and the Englishman says that scores will be settling in or out of the confines of a UFC bout.
‘That fight needs to happen,’ Edwards told Metro.co.uk. ‘Whenever it comes it comes, that fight will happen. Either on the street or in the cage, it will happen 100%.’
Edwards boasts a fantastic 17-3 MMA record and an outstanding seven-fight win streak, a run only bettered at welterweight by current champion Kamaru Usman (14), who was the last man to beat the Brit, back in 2015.
Many have been afforded title shots with less wins to their name whereas Rocky has only been rewarded with a tough fight against former lightweight king Dos Anjos.
However, it might be slower progress than most, but the Birmingham fighter is gaining the recognition he deserves and believes a world title shot is within his grasp if he sees off Dos Anjos in Texas.
‘I think all the hard work is paying off and finally the world is clocking on that I’m one of the best fighters in the world so I feel good,’ Edwards continued.
‘To fight a former world champion in RDA and to defeat him on Saturday night will mean the world to me and put me in line for a world title shot.
‘They keep doubting me and saying all these guys are going to beat me and I keep beating them one by one. I just focus on my journey, I’m enjoying my journey and I just take it as it comes.’
It is a complicated picture at welterweight, with Usman sidelined for some time, Masvidal calling for a title shot and the winner of Colby Covington vs Robbie Lawler in August in with a good shout of a fight for the gold.
A win for Edwards on Saturday guarantees nothing in the packed waters where these sharks swim, but it would put him one step higher up the food chain.
The 27-year-old will keep on scrapping until he gets his chance at the strap, but is unfazed by any of the contenders at 170lbs.
‘I’ll fight any of them, I believe I’m number one and I would beat any of them. Whoever, wherever, whenever,’ said Rocky.
‘I feel i deserve the world title after beating RDA. There isn’t a man in the division who has done what I’ve done, and it’ll be a great story between me and Kamaru Usman.
‘I’ve not lost since we last fought. I’ve proved it each fight, I’ve beat some of the best fighters in the world.’
His lack of trash talk is often mooted as the reason Edwards is still number 12 in the rankings and struggling to get his name in the title frame. However, his motivation lies elsewhere and is rooted firmly in Birmingham.
‘It’s all for my home town,’ said Rocky. ‘I’m doing it for my home town. I keep mentioning bringing the UFC to Birmingham and they’ve pied me off a little bit.
‘The last time they came was nine years ago and I remember watching it, my team-mate, Vaughan Lee made his debut on there, his first ever UFC event and that’s what motivated me to push on and keep on training.
‘I remember watching it right in the sky, it looked small to me, that’s how far away I was.
‘To go back and headline it would be a dream come true and could inspire other kids that are at the point in their lives where I was to follow their dreams and try and do what I’ve done and get into that position.
‘If I get a world title shot I can hold it hostage in Birmingham.’
Edwards fights Dos Anjos live on BT Sport on Saturday 20 July (the fight taking place in the early hours of Sunday morning UK time).
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