UFC president Dana White believes that top-ranked welterweight title contender Leon Edwards could be the next big superstar for UK MMA.
Edwards is the No. 4 ranked welterweight on the UFC roster. He has a 10-2 record inside the Octagon and is currently riding an eight-fight win streak. White says he has taken notice of Edwards and believes he can be a huge star for the UFC in the UK.
Here’s what White told BT Sport about Edwards.
“Edwards is a rising star. This kid is mean, nasty, and aggressive. His standup is phenomenal. That country (England) is up for grabs and waiting to be taken by somebody. If Edwards can become a world champion, that guy can be a big star over there,” White said.
“We’re working on it,” White said.
It’s a bit surprising that White said Edwards could be the next big superstar in UK MMA when most assumed that he would have said Darren Till. “The Gorilla” just beat Kelvin Gastelum in his UFC middleweight debut and is arguably the most popular fighter on the roster. But he had lost two straight fights to Woodley and Jorge Masvidal before that, so perhaps the UFC and White are slowing their roll on Till at the moment.
In the meantime, the UFC will continue to try and get the Edwards vs. Woodley fight booked for UFC London. It will be a huge fight if it ends up happening, especially if it takes place in England. If Edwards can go out there and beat Woodley, you better believe he will be next in line to fight for the UFC welterweight title. And if Edwards becomes a UFC world champion, he could become one of the biggest sports stars in Europe.
Do you agree with Dana White that Leon Edwards is going to be the next big superstar for UK MMA?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/12/2019.