Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream the UFC live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.
Nearly two years have passed since Leon Edwards last set foot inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the COVID-19 pandemic having nixed multiple bouts while wreaking havoc on the longtime welterweight contender’s schedule.
Edwards’ frustrating period of inactivity will draw to a close when he meets former Titan Fighting Championship titleholder Belal Muhammad in the UFC Fight Night 187 main event this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The Kingston, Jamaica, native carries an eight-fight winning streak that dates back more than five years. Edwards last competed at UFC on ESPN 4, where he took a five-round unanimous decision from Rafael dos Anjos on July 20, 2019. The Team Renegade representative owns a stellar 10-2 record inside the Octagon, having lost only to Claudio Silva and Kamaru Usman.
As Edwards makes final preparations for his high-stakes showdown with Muhammad, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. He established a championship pedigree as a regional performer.
Edwards was one of four fighters to capture the RDX welterweight championship in the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts promotion. Tom Breese, Wayne Murrie and Terry Brazier were the others. Edwards was the only one of the four to successfully defend the title.
2. His road to prominence was lined with peril.
The eight men—dos Anjos, Gunnar Nelson, Donald Cerrone, Peter Sobotta, Bryan Barberena, Vicente Luque, Albert Tumenov and Dominic Waters—Edwards has defeated during his current winning streak have 166 victories between them.
3. Like all competitors, he has his weaknesses.
Edwards has conceded at least one takedown in seven of his 12 appearances in the UFC. He has surrendered multiple takedowns five times, including six of them to Usman, four to Waters, three to Silva and three to Gunnar Nelson.
4. He has enjoyed a semblance of professional stability.
Edwards has only competed in four promotions as a mixed martial artist. He has gone 10-2 in the UFC, 5-0 in BAMMA, 2-1 in Fight UK MMA and 1-0 in Strength and Honour.
5. Well-rounded skills make him a favorite with the judges.
“Rocky” owns a 9-2 record in bouts that go the distance. Usman and Silva are the only two fighters to defeat him on the scorecards, the latter having done so by split verdict in Edwards’ organizational debut at UFC Fight Night 56 in 2014.