TL;DR news on Leon Edwards at December 19, 2022
First, Edwards did an interview afterward saying he wanted a title shot next, citing his performance in the first round as evidence a rematch was unnecessary. Sean Strickland Rebooked For December I think more importantly though, it will give Edwards the chance to expose his story and humble beginnings to many fans probably for the first time. Leon was born in a country some would consider a literal paradise in Kingston, Jamaica a place he fondly remembers growing up in. In thanks to his mother's love and commitment to keeping Edwards off of the streets, she worked two to three jobs to afford to be able to pay for him to take classes at the gym. Edwards had gone from fighting in school and the streets to winning a world title in Europe's biggest mixed martial arts promotion. Life had now dealt him another set of unideal cards, but Leon just kept going and improving and focusing on what he had already overcome throughout his life. Three fights later, Gunnar Nelson mounted Edwards with just a minute left in their matchup at UFC Fight Night 147, but he didn't panic and once more kept his winning streak alive. The Brazilian contender would be awarded a title shot against Usman adding insult to injury if you will to the situation for Edwards. Now surrounded by nothing but uncertainty amidst a global pandemic, and losing his title shot to Burns, Edwards truly was the odd man out in the UFC's welterweight division. Edwards had to sit on the sidelines and watch for a second time, a different opponent not only beat Woodley but then parlay it into an eventual title opportunity. The UFC then gave Edwards a consolation prize of sorts, finally scheduling him a fight with an unranked Khamzat Chimaev in the main event of UFC Vegas 17 in December 2020. Edwards had lost yet another opportunity but also been given a new fight and opponent with the virus. Reality was finally manifesting the victory and platform Edwards had needed to decisively earn his title shot. Once more there would no ninth victory in a row, no title shot, and with another main event opportunity taken away from him, nothing had been answered for Edwards after such an extensive layoff. A minor injury would lead to the fight being rescheduled to this Saturday, June 12 at UFC 263 but nonetheless, the stars have finally aligned for Edwards. "If I'm not gonna fight the biggest fight I can possibly find, I'm gonna fight the best fighter that I can possibly find," Diaz said on his thinking behind the Edwards matchup. Leon chose to live on his terms and the commonality of the way he has overcome the struggles of his own life is one I believe everyone can not only be inspired by but also actually learn from. In an interview with MMA On Point, Leon Edwards looked back on his loss to Kamaru Usman. Leon Edwards later said he had done enough to stake a claim to the welterweight championship, and a win at UFC 263 should guarantee him a title shot. But Edwards was far from sheltered, growing up in a violent neighbourhood and being born to a father who became a gang leader to provide for his family. His father always tried to make sure he was giving his children a better life, before he was tragically shot dead in a London nightclub when Edwards was age 13. His best path to victory is to catch him in a submission or win a decision, and I just think Leon is too crafty for him. On paper, I would have to agree with the oddsmakers that it should be a setup fight for Leon to spring him to the next level. Leon has had some great performances, but even in those performances, he doesn't always fight smart. He has to leverage the volume, stay in his face, dictate the terms, keep Leon on his back heel, keep him reacting to what Nate is doing, and not let him get in the driver's seat. And then as the fight progresses, especially in the third round, I would be looking for Nate to add more pressure with his boxing and start to close that gap against Leon and look to overwhelm him. Rhodes: If I was Nate's coach, I would try to tell Nate to get in Leon's face early. Push Leon, make Leon go on the back foot, and just kind of pressure him. But if he's on the ground, maybe it's because Leon landed a shot that put Nate down. In the clinch, Edwards is so effective with good bodywork, bringing hard knees to the midsection while he works the outer edges of the ribcage. Diaz might be able to pull off some ground magic, but even there, I think Edwards is too good a wrestler to find much trouble. Was it Khamzat? Yeah, Khamzat fell out again on Leon. Yahoo Sports asked Diaz what excited him about fighting Edwards, who is unbeaten since losing to Usman in 2015.