UFC welterweight champ Leon Edwards is slowly turning into one of the most beloved fighters in the UFC. After moving from Jamaica to England, Leon started off with very few resources. Despite making it to the UFC, he was underestimated by a majority of the fan base. However, he changed it all with a single head kick at UFC 278 against Kamara Usman. On that day, he became the UFC welterweight champ.
Since then, his stock has raised immensely, especially in his home country. It made the UFC take notice of it and the promotion decided to book his first title defense in the O2 Arena in London. The event, UFC 286, goes down on March 18 and Edwards will fight his rival Kamaru Usman for the third time. A lot depends on the result of the fight this Saturday. Depending on the winner of the fight, Conor McGregor may be next in line for a title shot.
During a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour,” Conor dropped a lot of news. He confirmed that the upcoming Michael Chandler fight will take place around the summer and it will happen at welterweight. McGregor pretty much confirmed that he is not planning on going down to lightweight anytime soon and is aiming for a title opportunity at welterweight.
Conor has been pretty vocal about his aspirations to become the first-ever triple champion in the UFC. He even targeted the then-champion Kamaru Usman. However, the landscape has changed since then and Leon Edwards is now the reigning champion. Hence, he was asked about the possibility of fighting Conor down the line. Edwards did not dismiss the possibility.
He added, “Um, as the king, I welcome all challenges you know. So whoever comes, (can) get it.” Leon was then asked whether a win over Michael Chandler is good enough to get the title shot or not. “Rocky” seemed to be very open-minded about it and seemed open to giving Conor the chance to fight for his title. However, many fans may not know this, but Leon and Conor have a pre-existing relationship.
How are Conor McGregor and Leon Edwards related?
Conor McGregor is the first-ever UFC double champ. On top of that, he gained mainstream press coverage through his boxing venture against Floyd Mayweather in 2017. Even recently, Conor McGregor made big news after signing his maiden Hollywood movie opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, the “Road House” remake. One figure who was always present by Conor’s side was his manager Tim Simpson.
Interestingly, Tim Simpson is also Leon Edwards’ manager as well. Both Conor and Leon were signed to Paradigm Sports. However, Tim left Paradigm in February 2023 and took Leon with him. Not just Leon, Israel Adesanya, Jiri Prochazka, and Max Holloway left Paradigm to join Tim’s newly founded Chosen Advisory Group. However, Tim still has ties with Paradigm. So there is a chance that Leon might be under contract with Paradigm Sports.
An amazing scene to witness! Huge congrats Leon! A real good, solid and dedicated mixed martial artist! The uk’s second only ufc champion! Incredible! Congrats mate! @ParadigmSports
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) August 21, 2022
Regardless, Leon does share a cordial relationship with Conor and even paid homage to the Irish superstar after his win at UFC 278 against Kamaru Usman. Leon did Conor’s famous “Billionaire Strut” after knocking out Usman in 2022. Conor even congratulated the 33-year-old on the win. Because Leon is primarily a striker, there is a lot of interest in seeing him go up against McGregor. Will the bout happen? It remains to be seen.
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