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Leon Edwards not willing to fight in London; targets next fight in Abu Dhabi at UFC 294

In October, Leon Edwards will 'probably' defend his welterweight title against Colby Covington after ruling out competing at UFC London in July.

The British fighter extended his winning record to 12 matches by defeating Kamaru Usman in a trilogy fight at UFC 286 last month, retaining his title and solidifying his position at the top of the division.

He is currently aiming for a fight in Abu Dhabi later this autumn to give himself time to regain his full condition.

"No [he will not feature at UFC London as far as he's concerned] unless it comes with some stupid money, the bag always talks!" Edwards told Sky Sports.

"Unless the stupid money comes I don't see it, I'd literally have to get back in training camp next week.

"I fought under a month ago. March to July I don't think makes sense. "In the last year or so I've fought three times I think, I'd love to fight now towards the end of the year. The Abu Dhabi card would be great.

"That would be perfect, I get time to nurse my injuries, I get time to get back into it, I feel like Abu Dhabi would be perfect."

However, Edwards did make a suggestion that there was a chance he might have fought in London had Jorge Masvidal defeated Gilbert Burns over the weekend. The two were said to have fought backstage, which sparked an intriguing rivalry in 2019. Masvidal, 38, famously announced his retirement after losing to Burns in Miami by unanimous decision.

"Maybe [if it was Masvidal]. There's a story behind it, about the UK and the backstage thing, I know the fans would have wanted it," said Edwards. "Even Masvidal wouldn't have earned it if he beat Gilbert, there's a story there and bad blood there and something there to sell."

Covington, according to Edwards, has not yet proven himself worthy of a crack at the title, but he is still ready to take on any opponent that is put in front of him.

"At the moment in the division there's no clear No 1 contender, Colby is coming off two losses and one win, Gilbert similar," he explained. "I had to go earn like 10 fights in a row to fight for the world title, these guys are winning one fight, losing one fight and then fighting for a world title.

"If you believe you're a champion you should fight all the guys offered to you. He hasn't earned his position, you can't sit down uninjured for over a year, turn down fights and then say you want a title fight.

"Now I'm the champion, I decide, Colby isn't a champion so doesn't decide anything. That's the difference.


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