Leon Edwards claims he isn’t backup fighter for Masvidal-Diaz

Leon Edwards, Rafael dos Anjos
Image: @leon_edwardsmma on Instagram

Yesterday evening, news surfaced that Nate Diaz is likely out of his UFC 244 main event battle with Jorge Masvidal. Shortly after that news surfaced, it was reported the English welterweight contender Leon Edwards could be on tap to replace Diaz against Masvidal.

“Ben told the UFC have had a replacement on standby in case of injury or unforeseen circumstances scuppering Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz. That man is none other than Leon Edwards. He’s been paid to be in training camp and is likely the front runner to replace Nate,” Daily Star reporter Chisanga Malata wrote on Twitter.

Unfortunately, it sounds as though Edwards will not be making the flight to New York to replace Nate Diaz.

Speaking on Twitter, he divulged that he’s agreed to serve as the replacement opponent for the UFC 245 main event, which will pit champ Kamaru Usman against challenger Colby Covington, but not the UFC 244 main event. He says he offered to be on standby for the UFC 244 main event, but the UFC declined that offer.

“Bad news Regarding Nate, I did offer when the fight was made to stay ready but the UFC unfortunately said no,” Edwards wrote. “So I won’t be making the trip to NYC. But I will be ready for December 14th.”

Leon Edwards is currently on an impressive eight-fight win-streak, highlighted by triumphs over Rafael dos Anjos, Gunnar Nelson, Donald Cerrone and Vicente Luque. He’s also got a heated rivalry with Jorge Masvidal — which actually came to blows after March’s UFC London card — which made him an obvious choice to replace Diaz.

Unfortunately, it sounds like the UFC will have to call on somebody else.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/23/2019.