In this day and age, ranks are determined by who talks the most trash rather than who wins the most fights, according to streaking UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards.
Edwards, who recently earned a unanimous decision win over Gunnar Nelson at UFC London, is on a seven-fight win streak and feels he should be ranked in the top-ten.
Instead, despite being 9-2 in his UFC run, ‘Rocky’ finds himself listed at No. 11 in the official UFC welterweight rankings.
The Birmingham, England-based fighter isn’t too happy about that and, speaking in a recent interview with BJPenn.com, Edwards put the UFC’s ranking system and promotional model on blast.
“It’s a mad game,” Edwards said. “It’s no more about fighting, it’s more about talkers, whoever talks the most gets the opportunities. I feel like that’s where the sport is going, it’s more like WWE now. You talk trash and you don’t have to perform well. There’s people losing that talk trash and they’re still above me [in the rankings]. It’s a mad game. All I can do is keep focusing on myself, keep chipping away, keep beating these guys they’re putting in front of me. I’m number one, so I’ll fight them all and I’ll beat them all.”
Edwards, who got into a post-fight brawl with UFC London headliner Jorge Masvidal at the O2 Arena, was hoping to secure a grudge match with ‘Gamebred.’
Following his stunning knockout of Liverpool’s Darren Till in the main event, however, Masvidal surged into the top-five and is expected to face UFC newcomer Ben Askren in his next bout.
Edwards feels this is proof that the UFC cares more about ‘popularity’ than legitimacy.
“You got to think, before Masvidal beat Darren Till he was on a two-fight losing streak,” he continued. “Ever since he beat Darren Till, he moved to number 5 in the rankings and now he’s the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a weird sport we are in, to be on a 7-fight win streak and be pushed outside the top 10, I got people that are above me that are coming devastating losses, it doesn’t make sense to me one bit. I don’t feel this sport is more of a popularity contest now. It’s a mad game we are in and it’s just weird to me.”
With Masvidal having verbally agreed to fight Askren, Edwards could perhaps go on to fight fellow Brit Till, who, despite suffering back-to-back losses, is still ranked in the top-seven.