Leon Edwards has denied rumors that he may step down so the UFC can book Conor McGregor in a welterweight title fight against Kamaru Usman.
‘Rocky’ is set to get his golden shot at the UFC this summer, but his fight against Usman isn’t official yet and looked to be in jeopardy when McGregor set his sights on a fight with ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’
Former UFC contender turned MMA analyst Chael Sonnen recently claimed that Edwards was offered a large sum to give up his title and allow McGregor to jump the line at welterweight.
“I am told that Leon was offered his show and his money earned. Everything that was negotiated for Leon to fight Kamaru is offered to him,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel.
“’We’ll send you a check to withdraw. We have the right to dismiss you, we don’t want any hard feelings and we recognize that you deserve it. So we’ll send you what you agreed to and you can stay home. With the belief that Conor will intervene.
“I don’t believe this rumor, by the way. I just share with you. For some reason Leon vs Kamaru isn’t over and if Conor returns, when will he return? What weight will he return?
Englishman Edwards responded to the rumour, tweeting: ‘Chael, what the hell are you doing?
Edwards has won nine straight since suffering a unanimous decision loss when he first fought Usman in 2015.
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Most recently, he survived a late flurry from Nate Diaz to earn a lopsided unanimous decision victory at UFC 263 in June 2021.
Since beating Edwards in 2015, Usman has continued to cement his legacy as one of the greatest welterweight fighters of all time.
The 34-year-old has defended his 170-pound strap five times, most recently edging out Colby Covington for the second time.
Hand surgery followed that fight and appears to be what is keeping Usman vs. Edwards 2 from being officially announced.
McGregor, meanwhile, has been sidelined since July 2021 after fracturing his tibia and fibula against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.
Despite being on a two-game losing streak, the Irishman is eyeing a fight with Usman as he bids to become the first three-weight champion in UFC history.
Any other fighter would have no chance of achieving this, but McGregor is the biggest star in sports history and with massive pay-per-view sales, he might get his wish.
London calls on Saturday.
The first fixture in the capital is Arsenal v Manchester United live on talkSPORT, with the visitors perhaps buoyed by news of Erik ten Hag’s appointment as permanent manager.
Then, direction Wembley for Tyson Fury against Dillian Whyte from 7 p.m. where the two heavyweights fight for the WBC title.
12:30 p.m.: Arsenal v Man United – talkSPORT
7 p.m.: Live from Wembley ahead of Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte
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