After hearing rumors that Jorge Masvidal wasn’t seriously training for their announced clash at UFC 269, Leon Edwards wasn’t surprised when “Gamebred pulled out of their welterweight fight last week.
"I knew he was going to," Edwards told ESPN. "I heard some news coming back that he was looking a bit fat, he was looking chubby still. I didn't think he was training for it to be honest. I always knew he was going to run away. It's been three years since the incident in London and he's been dodging me ever since.”
Interest in a grudge match between Edwards and Masvidal began after UFC Fight Night 147 in London, when the two men had an altercation backstage following the event. Masvidal went viral after hitting Edwards with a “three-piece and a soda” combination during that scuffle, which helped raise his profile significantly. It’s been more than two years since then, and Masvidal has enjoyed the spoils of stardom with a headlining bout at Madison Square Garden and a pair of title shots against Kamaru Usman.
Edwards says that Masvidal knows he doesn’t have anything to gain from fighting him. “Rocky” told ESPN that he asked about the injury that forced Masvidal to withdraw from their bout but wasn’t given any clarification regarding the nature of the ailment.
"I believe he's a fraud and he's doing what he needs to get out of the fight," Edwards said. "He knows that once he loses to me, where does he go?”
Now, Edwards has no interest in remaining on the UFC 269 bill. Instead, he will wait for a title shot against Usman, an opportunity he believes the promotion recognizes he deserves.
"I feel [the UFC] sees it," Edwards said. "They now believe I am well-deserving. There is no one else for Usman to fight. I'm the guy saying 'yes' all the time. I'm the guy fighting. I feel the promotion and I am on the same page, let's say that.”