In case Nate Diaz wins against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279 next month, newly crowned UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards has stated that he would be "100%" eager to face Diaz again in a championship bout in the future. Edwards, the main event of UFC 278 on Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah, knocked out two-time opponent and champion Kamaru Usman in the fifth round with a Hail-Mary left high kick, ending Usman's reign as the division pacesetter since 2019.
The reigning welterweight champion, Leon Edwards, has no shortage of potential challengers for his initial defense. Diaz, who hasn't won since August 2019, would have to re-sign with the promotion for that to be possible as UFC 279 is the penultimate bout on his contract. Dana White, the president of the UFC, previously stated that if Chimaev defeats Diaz, he will be next in line for a championship opportunity, but Edwards is also open to a trilogy fight with Usman at London's Wembley Stadium.
Leon Edwards appeared on the Ariel Helwani Show ‘ The MMA Hour’ and let his feelings out about the contenders who he might face in the future.
He stated, “Whoever, whenever. I’d love to run back Usman, but it has to be in London. Dana [White] came out and said Wembley, that would be amazing. To headline Wembley with Usman, that would be amazing. But if not, let [Jorge] Masvidal get a few wins. That would be a big fight as well. I’d love to f****** smack his head off him.
“But like I said, whoever, whenever. I’m top of the mountain now. There’s no doubting. [UFC President] Dana [White] came out before and said if Usman weren’t champion, Colby would be champion. When I heard that I was like, what? Colby had two shots, Masvidal had two shots, but little old Leon came in with one shot and head-kicked him. Pound-for-pound, head shot.”
After dominating Diaz for five rounds back at UFC 263 , Edwards was rocked with just a minute left in the fight, but "Rocky" pulled through. So Edwards is happy to give Diaz a rematch if he defeats unbeaten Chimaev (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in his upcoming UFC 279 main event on Sept. 10. When asked about how he would like to face the winner of the matchup between Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz he excitedly said that,
“ Imagine the scenes – the scenes!” Edwards said. “Imagine the scenes. I would 100 percent give Nate a shot as well. That would be — the scenes would be crazy. I would 100 percent give Nate a shot because Nate’s a G. I’ve always said it, even after the fight. He is who he is. The game never changed him. So it that does happen, then Nate’s definitely getting the shot.”
It is obvious that after Leon Edwards won the championship every fighter in the division wants a piece of him. But it won’t be an easy path as Leon himself had to work tirelessly and go through adversity on many occasions to land his title shot. The trilogy for now seems the most likely option but if Leon was to face another contender in the division who will be the best fit? Let us know your thoughts in the comment.