Leon Edwards says Conor McGregor needs “a good win” before being granted an opportunity to challenge for his welterweight title.
The welterweight champion is more than happy to entertain a fight with the Irishman in the future, especially after the significant muscle mass he has attained. It looks like the 170lbs division may be McGregor’s new home.
Edwards did the unthinkable in August last year when landing a viral head-kick knockout flush on Kamaru Usman. The pair are set to run it back in a highly-anticipated trilogy in the UFC 286 main event on March 18 in London.
McGregor’s last outing ended catastrophically in 2021 when being dealt with back-to-back losses to Dustin Poirier. The 36-year-old suffered a horrific leg injury in their third meeting. No date has been penciled in for his return, but the Dublin-born is expected to return in 2023.
UFC welterweight Leon Edwards on potential Conor McGregor fight
When interviewed by talkSPORT, Edwards voiced he would “100 per cent” face McGregor, despite being under the same management.
“If Conor comes back and gets a good win at welterweight, then it’s a fight I’d more than welcome. It would be a massive fight for Europe, a massive fight for everyone.
“Let him come back, get a good win at welterweight and then we can talk from there.”
Although a mega-fight with McGregor could potentially happen down the line, Edwards’s full focus is on defending his title on UK soil against Usman on March 18.
“It feels amazing,” Edwards said, smiling, “This is what most kids dream of in MMA – to headline a hometown show, especially being the champion.
“It’s a great opportunity and I’m very excited.
“I would’ve loved Villa Park to happen, but back home is back home.
“To have it at the O2, it’s a massive, iconic venue in the UK
“Hopefully one day we can get back to Birmingham and have Villa Par, but it’s the O2 now and I can’t wait for fight night.”
Edwards unbothered by underdog status
Despite knocking the former No.1 pound-for-pound fighter out in his last outing, Edwards still enters the third bout as the betting underdog and remains unbothered.
“I’ve been the underdog for my last however many fights,” he explained with a shrug.
“I haven’t lost a fight in the last six or seven years, so it doesn’t bother me.
“I’m just focussed on what I need to do, which is show up, train, prepare for the fight, go out there and perform.
March 18 in London will certainly be one of the biggest nights in UK MMA history and the career of Leon Edwards.