There is plenty at stake for both Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal.
It was recently reported that the pair of grudge rivals would finally settle things in a three-round welterweight bout set for the upcoming UFC 269 pay-per-view event taking place December 11.
Although it’s somewhat of a backwards step for Edwards, given that Kamaru Usman is defending his title against Colby Covington a month prior along with a lucrative payday, it’s not the worst move for the Briton either.
Even if Daniel Cormier was expecting them to fight a lot sooner.
“I’m a huge WWE fan. I love the slow build like when you wait a year. I feel like this one took a little bit long for me,” Cormier said on his ESPN show. “I wanted to see it before because for me, it’s like, is Leon Edwards passed this now? Has Leon got to the point where fighting ‘Gamebred’ is also a step back? I get the financial implications it has for him.
“… It’s great to see him get the bag. But in terms of career, it feels like he should be fighting for the belt next. But I think it’s the right move because he puts this behind, Nate Diaz and Masvidal? Then there’s no doubting that he gets the next title shot.”
— Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) October 11, 2021
Potential Covington vs. Masvidal Title Fight?
Of course, while this might be a backwards step for Edwards, he still needs to win to be assured of the next title shot.
Masvidal will certainly not make that easy as he will be looking to not only snap a two-fight losing streak, but also reenter title contention.
While that might seem crazy given that his last two fights were welterweight title defeats, it’s certainly possible if Covington ends up defeating Usman at UFC 268 next month.
“Jorge Masvidal now has a lot of stake in the race,” Cormier added. “If Colby Covington can win and he wins a month later, can you imagine the build of former teammates turned fighters turned challengers for the belt?
“This division is on fire right now but you know who has a ton to say about it? Kamaru Usman who has no intention of dropping that belt. Welterweight is as exciting as it has been for a long time.”