It appears the UFC has had a backup plan in case either of Nate Diaz or Jorge Masvidal had to pull out of their UFC 244 main event. And, that backup plan is Leon Edwards.
According to Chisanga Malata of Daily Star Sport, the UFC have been paying Edwards to be in a training camp and on standby for this fight.
Been 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. #UFC244
— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) October 24, 2019
“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,” Malata wrote on Twitter.
Of course, Nate Diaz announced he is out of the fight after being flagged by USADA. Many fans thought Conor McGregor would be a logical option. But, all signs point to Leon Edwards stepping in. And, against Jorge Masvidal, it still will be a big fight.
After UFC London, Masvidal and Edwards had a run-in backstage where “Gamebred” gave Edwards the three-piece and a soda. Fans immediately called for a fight to happen, but the two went their separate ways. The Birmingham native has since said Masvidal is ducking the fight and is scared to fight him.
Leon Edwards is coming off of a decision win over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on ESPN 4 in July. The win extended his win streak to eight, including wins over Gunnar Nelson, Donald Cerrone, and Vicente Luque, with his lone loss inside the Octagon is to Kamaru Usman.
Jorge Masvidal, meanwhile, has had a tremendous 2019 with a knockout win over Darren Till in March then a five-second knockout win over Ben Askren in July.
Whether or not the ‘BMF’ title will still be on the line is to be seen. The UFC, as well, have yet to confirm Diaz is out of the fight and Leon Edwards stepping in.
Who do you think will win the fight between Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 if it happens? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/24/2019.