List of Leon Edwards' next opponents named and ranked, Conor McGregor misses out on No.1
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Leon Edwards has no shortage of future opponents after he successfully defended his UFC welterweight title against Kamaru Usman at UFC 286. Dana White suggested Colby Covington is next but we reckon there's not just one but TWO better options for 'Rocky'.
UFC 286 is in the books as fight fans await Edwards' next assignment following his triumphant homecoming. The welterweight division is effectively a shark tank and boasts some serious contenders in the top five, not to mention Conor McGregor who seems set to compete at welterweight.
Being the king, Edwards has a target on his back. And ahead of the UFC booking his next title fight, we have ranked the four opponents we want to see him face next in the famed Octagon.
4) Belal Muhammad
It might not be the most popular fight, but purely based on sporting merit, then he's definitely in with a shout. Muhammad hasn't lost since January 2019, with his only blemish a no-content against the man himself. Edwards' accidental eye-poke stopped their contest early, with Muhammad hellbent on running it back.
Since that meeting with Edwards, the 34-year-old has reeled off an impressive four-fight winning streak, beating Demian Maia, Stephen Thompson, Vicente Luque and Sean Brady. UFC fighters in the past have done less than that and received a title shot so he has a pretty strong argument to be the next man to fight for UFC welterweight gold.
There's also an obvious narrative for Edwards vs. Muhammad II, having already clashed inside the Octagon albeit for just over one round.
3) Colby Covington
So, Covington was the back-up fighter for UFC 286 and was sat cageside for the main-event. White then claimed he's next in line for a shot at the 170lbs title. Yes, he's the No.2-ranked welterweight in the promotion but we're not convinced it's the right fight to make right now. Why? Well, first of all, Edwards isn't even keen on the match-up and Covington has only one win under his belt since he last fought for the UFC welterweight championship.
Covington, however, is always going to be in the discussion because of his ranking and, while he'd promote the hell out of a potential showdown, there are two other options which would be bigger.
2) Conor McGregor
You're telling me Edwards is saying no if McGregor is presented to him? Of course not! McGregor appears set to campaign at welterweight for his UFC comeback and while he's on a two-fight losing skid, let's be honest, it's only going to take one win to propel himself back in the picture of big fights. If he beats Michael Chandler, the McGregor-PR machine will go into overdrive so a title fight would be inevitable.
On the other hand, McGregor earning a title shot off the bat may go against the sport's integrity considering the UFC star's inactivity.
1) Jorge Masvidal
There's absolutely no doubt a fight between Edwards and Masvidal would generate a whole lot of buzz. There's a feud to be settled, too, following the backstage altercation back in March 2019 and a rivalry to be played out, which would make for compelling viewing.
Masvidal has since become a bonafide UFC superstar and when you couple that with Edwards' new-found fame, then you have a monstrous, must-see event. It's a no-brainer.
And unlike Covington, Edwards is eager to meet 'Gamebred' in the Octagon - providing he gets past Gilbert Burns at next month's UFC 287.
"Yeah. I just don’t like him. So I feel like that’s one I need to get back. There’s a storyline there to tell," the UFC champion said during his post-fight press conference. "So, yeah, if he gets the job done [against Gilbert Burns], I’ll have a look. I’ll consider it. If he begs me, then I might let him slide in here."
Masvidal would be in a similar position to Covington in that he'd only have one win since his last defeat. But the fact that Edwards genuinely wants the fight and the sheer magnitude of the showdown, makes it the clear frontrunner.
Edwards vs. Masvidal is the fight to make. Book it, Dana.
Who do you want to see Edwards defend his belt against next? Let us know.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Leon Edwards, UFC, Jorge Masvidal, Conor McGregor