As far as Michael Bisping is concerned, the only fight to be made next is Leon Edwards vs. Jorge Masvidal.
Edwards is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Nate Diaz in their five-round welterweight contest at UFC 263 this past weekend.
While the Birmingham native looked good overall, the win was dampened by him getting wobbled by Diaz in the final minute of the fight which was undoubtedly the most significant moment over the 25 minutes of action.
Edwards would have been unlikely to have leapfrogged Colby Covington for a title shot regardless as he never really went for the kill against Diaz.
With UFC president Dana White later maintaining that Covington was next in line, it looks like Edwards will have to wait for his title shot or remain active and fight someone else.
Bisping: There Is Backstory For Days
If Edwards is to fight someone else, there is no perfect candidate other than Masvidal according to Bisping.
Especially given the pair’s history.
“Jorge Masvidal, man. That’s who it needs to be,” Bisping said on his podcast (via BJ Penn). “Some people are saying that Masvidal needs to fight Nate Diaz again. I disagree. I thought Masvidal handled it pretty easy (at UFC 244). Masvidal vs. Leon Edwards. That’s the fight to make. The three-piece and the soda. Masvidal assaulted him in London. There is backstory there for days. We’ve talked about it at length. That has to be the fight now for Leon. If Leon goes out there and beats Masvidal, then he’s going to get a title shot.
“And Masvidal has to take that fight as well. Far be it from me to be talking sh*t about Masvidal. I’m not talking sh*t, but the reality is this: if you go out there and you crack another man in the face who is in your weight class and you both work for a company that matches their employees against one another and puts them in an Octagon to fight, the pieces of the puzzle are there. It doesn’t take a f*cking championship puzzle maker to put the final piece of this jigsaw in place. You both fight for the UFC, you’re in the same organization, you’re in the same weight class, you’re both riding high in the division — of course, Masvidal just last a world title fight, but he’s still one of the top fighters in the division, and Leon is on a tear with a nine-fight win streak — and the last time they saw one another, Masvidal hit him with a three-piece and the soda. That absolutely, unequivocally, has to be the next fight for both of those men.”
Whether it will happen remains to be seen.
Edwards would certainly like to dish out punishment to Masvidal for their UFC London altercation even with his desire for a title shot.
Masvidal, meanwhile, might feel Edwards is below him, but given his last two losses, may not have the leverage to pick and choose his next opponent.