Leon Edwards, the current UFC welterweight champion, might take part in UFC 295 when the organisation returns to Madison Square Garden.
According to UFC President Dana White, Edwards will undoubtedly make an appearance "before the end of the year" and "could play out to possibly fight at MSG."
White didn't specifically mention Colby Covington, who was selected to challenge Edwards for the championship since he was the back-up opponent for the champion's rematch with Kamaru Usman at UFC 286. Edwards later put the brakes on that plan, aiming for an autumn return instead of Edwards vs Covington at UFC London, which takes place on Saturday at London's The O2.
Covington was initially ruled out as a challenger by Edwards, who claimed the twice-declared welterweight champion wasn't deserving of a shot at the title. However, his representative then said that Leon wouldn't "die on the hill" to challenge another competitor, such as the on-the-rise Belal Muhammad.
Edwards was considering fighting at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, and the lightweight champion Islam Makhachev recently challenged the welterweight champion to a matchup there. According to White, the company has already booked events through that month, leaving open slots on the pay-per-view card for November, which is currently headlined by a heavyweight title fight between champion Jon Jones and former champion Stipe Miocic.
Four months have passed since Edwards defeated Kamaru Usman by decision at UFC 286 in a rematch of his title-winning knockout of the former champion in August 2022. Since winning a decision over his former training partner and friend Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272 in March 2022, Covington hasn't competed. Shortly later, Masvidal is accused of assaulting Covington in a restaurant. As a result, a criminal case is still pending.