Leon Edwards expected to be front and center at the UFC’s recent 25th anniversary press conference and hoped to be facing off with Jorge Masvidal.
Masvidal accepted Edwards’ callout following the Birmingham native’s win over Donald Cerrone at UFC Singapore, but later revealed that he would instead serve as a cast member for the Telemundo reality TV series Exatlon Estados Unidos.
In a tweet posted last month “Gamebred” claimed that he was going to take part in the series because nobody was willing to fight him, which has left Edwards in somewhat of a precarious position.
“I went over to the U.S. ahead of that press conference. We had a meeting and we really tried to get that Masvidal fight, but it didn’t work out,” Edwards told MMA Fighting.
“I guess it’s just down to the UFC making the fight. Maybe he’s pissed them off because he isn’t taking fights or maybe he doesn’t want to fight. I really don’t know. We’re still pushing for that fight. I wanted it for the New York card (UFC 230), but they’ve told me that’s full now. Hopefully we can make something happen for the Canada card in December (UFC 231).”
Edwards seems to be baffled by Masvidal’s decision to take part in a reality television series rather than fighting.
“I don’t get it. I called the guy out, he accepted and now he’s tweeting about some game show. Again, I really don’t know what’s going on there. [Masvidal’s team] said they would be ready in December. But, they also said they’d be ready for November, so I guess we’ll have to see what comes of it,” Edwards explained.
“The guy hasn’t fought in ages and now he’s off to play games in a reality TV show. It makes no sense to me. Let him go off and do his TV shit, but I’m here to fight and to test myself and I want a top-ranked guy. He’s got two losses on the bounce; if that was me I’d want to get back in there and get back in the win column. It makes no sense.”
“Rocky” is adamant that he is not counting his eggs before they hatch with Masvidal — it’s the ranking spot that the Brit is chasing, not a name.
According to Edwards, if Masvidal is “too busy” with on-screen obligations, he’s happy to take on Robbie Lawler or Rafael dos Anjos instead.
“I’m not hanging everything on Masvidal. The aim for me is to get that world title. If he’s too busy with reality TV shows, I’ll turn my attention to Robbie Lawler or RDA. Either Masvidal, Robbie Lawler, or Rafael Dos Anjos would be good for me in December. All I can do is wait and see, and hopefully there will be no more excuses,” he said.
“I don’t really give a shit about Masvidal, this is about climbing the ladder for me. I’ve got six wins in a row and I should have a higher ranking spot than 11th. I want someone in the top five or six so I can get them out of there and keep pushing towards the title.”