Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards will have to settle their differences another day.
UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell informed promotion broadcast partner ESPN on Wednesday that Masvidal has withdrawn from the highly-anticipated UFC 269 clash due to an undisclosed injury. According to MMAFighting.com , Edwards is not expected to remain on the card against a replacement opponent. Instead, the British welterweight will seek a title shot against Kamaru Usman.
Edwards reacted to Masvidal's exit on Twitter:
Disappointed but honestly I knew this fraud didn't want to fight me anyway. He was just a stop off on the way to the title. The goal remains the same. Much needed family time now, @usman84kg i will see you soon.— Leon 'Rocky' Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) November 10, 2021
If Edwards were to have a change of heart, he’d have several willing suitors. Since news of Masvidal’s exit came to light, Khamzat Chimaev, Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns all expressed interest in facing Edwards on short notice. UFC 269 takes place on Dec. 12 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by a lightweight title bout between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier.
Edwards and Masvidal famously crossed paths at UFC Fight Night 147 in London on March 16, 2019. Masvidal defeated Darren Till via second-round KO and Edwards took a split verdict over Gunnar Nelson at the event, but it was what happened backstage that really made headlines. Masvidal was giving an interview when he began exchanging words with Edwards, who was nearby. “Gamebred” then left the interview set to confront the Englishman, and shortly thereafter the fighters engaged in a brief altercation before being separated. That incident led to Masvidal’s famous “three-piece with a soda” line, but the two haven’t yet crossed paths since that incident.
The 30-year-old Edwards is unbeaten in his last 10 promotional appearances, with a no contest against Belal Muhammad the only blemish on his ledger during that time. Most recently, the Team Renegade representative took a five-round decision over Nate Diaz at UFC 263. He also owns notable victories against the likes of Rafael dos Anjos, Donald Cerrone and Vicente Luque.
Masvidal, meanwhile, is coming off back-to-back losses to Kamaru Usman in welterweight championship bouts. “Gamebred” initially stepped in on short notice to face Usman at UFC 251, where he dropped a unanimous decision in July 2020. Because of those circumstances, Masvidal was granted a rematch at UFC 261, and he fell again to the champion — this time by second-round KO. Prior to that, Masvidal authored a banner 2019 campaign that included finishes of Diaz, Ben Askren and Till.
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