Leon Edwards was considered for title shot against Kamaru Usman before Gilbert Burns

By Adam Martin - June 9, 2020

The UFC reportedly called Leon Edwards up to see if he would fight UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman before giving the shot to Gilbert Burns.

Leon Edwards, Jorge Masvidal

Jorge Masvidal was widely expected to be next in line to fight Usman for the belt but he is currently involved in a public contract dispute with the UFC. Masvidal believes he should get a new contract to fight for the belt but the UFC is not budging on it. When the UFC couldn’t come to terms with Masvidal, they reached out to Burns instead and offered him the title shot at UFC 251. But according to a new report, the UFC called Edwards first.

According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC reached out to Edwards about fighting Usman, but due to travel restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic and the short-notice nature of the fight, the promotion had to move on.

After it looked like the Masvidal fight was going to fall through, the UFC did reach out to Leon Edwards’ camp to see if he would fight Kamaru Usman on July 11, sources say, but the UK lockdown proved to be problematic for Edwards on short notice fight.

Edwards is currently riding an eight-fight win streak, which is second-longest in the division next to Usman’s 11 straight wins, so he would have been well-deserving of a title fight. Burns is on a six-fight win streak at welterweight and after beating Tyron Woodley in his last bout in dominant fashion, the UFC matchmakers gave him the title shot after the Masvidal and Edwards fights fell through.

With Masvidal and Edwards both now without opponents, perhaps the UFC could match them up against each other if they can figure out a new contract with Masvidal, with the winner getting a title shot. But right now the focus is on Usman vs. Burns.

Would you rather see Leon Edwards or Gilbert Burns fight Kamaru Usman?

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