To say that Leon Edwards has been on a hot streak would be an understatement.
The Englishman has been on a roll, having won seven in a row before dominating former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos on Saturday night in the main event of UFC on ESPN 4 in San Antonio. “Rocky” scored a unanimous decision over the Brazilian in what was arguably the biggest win of his pro career thus far.
Edwards (18-3) busted up Dos Anjos’ face with accurate punching, scored timely takedowns and controlled the action of the contest while on the canvas. Edwards turned in an excellent performance, but he wasn’t shocked by the result whatsoever.
“To compete against a former world champion in RDA and did what I did, I feel great,” he said after his hand was raised in victory. “When RDA fought Kamaru Usman, the same thing happened to him. Once RDA starts losing, it’s hard for him to come back and get the win, so I knew coming into the fight if I took the first two rounds, I’m gonna win the fight because he rarely comes back and wins after losing two rounds. That was my game plan and it worked perfectly.”
A relatively low-key fighter in one of the deepest weight divisions in all of MMA, Edwards is on an ascension up the welterweight rankings. Since losing to reigning champ Usman at UFC on Fox 17 back in 2015, he’s been unstoppable. After toppling solid 170-pounders in 2016 and 2017, “Rocky” has beaten the likes of Donald Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson and now Dos Anjos.
Granted, Edwards hasn’t been capturing the minds and hearts of MMA fans by drubbing foes in spectacular fashion; he’s been winning via decision. Usually the fickle MMA fans and media go bananas over a fighter who is torching people from knockouts or submissions, but a win is a win and the quality of Edwards’ opposition has steadily improved. The Brit is clearly in the thick of things regarding the title picture, and he knows his position and what he wants next.
“I’m on an eight-fight win streak in one of the hardest divisions in the sport,” he said. “There’s a weasel called Jorge Masvidal. Accept the fight and let’s do it; you’re not on my level. Let’s make this fight happen. Me and Jorge Masvidal, let’s make this fight happen.”
Masvidal has been the talk of the UFC for a few weeks now, after he flattened Ben Askren in just five seconds and then delivered one of the most legendary post-fight press conferences in the promotion’s history. Everyone wants a piece of “Gamebred” these days and Edwards is adamant that he wants to lock horns with him next. But, if that fight doesn’t materialize, he wants the gold.
“I want one more fight before the end of the year,” he stated. “The little weasel Jorge Masvidal, I’d love to get him. If not, give me the rematch against Kamaru Usman. He was the last guy to beat me four years ago and I’d love my rematch so let’s make it happen.”