UFC champ Leon Edwards refuses to give Belal Muhammad next title shot, sheds light on bout vs Shavkat Rakhmonov

Leon Edwards retained his welterweight title at UFC 296 with a dominant unanimous decision victory against Colby Covington. Nevertheless, the fight, built up of brutal trash talk by Covington who even made an offensive remark about Edwards’ father, failed to meet expectations.

Alexandre Pantoja also defended the flyweight title in the co-main event of the PPV. Shavkat Rakhmonov became the first fighter to submit Stephen Thompson in MMA and Tony Ferguson suffered his 7th straight defeat at the hands of Paddy Pimblett. The main card opener ended quickly with Josh Emmet putting Bryce Mitchell out cold.

Leon Edwards claims Belal does not deserve title shot

Leon Edwards was in a jovial mode at the post-fight press conference of UFC 296. However, he was visibly emotional in the octagon interview with Joe Rogan. Edwards is now on 13 fight unbeaten streak with 12 wins and 1 No Contest. The No Contest was against Belal Muhammad – a fight that ended due to an inadvertent eye poke from Edwards.

In the post-fight press conference, Edwards was asked about Bella being the next title challenger. “I don’t feel like Belal should be next. I’ve done it before, I’ve run through 10 fights in the welterweight division. So what makes him different or more privileged?”, said Edwards about his opinion on the matter. He even cited the fact that he also had a long unbeaten streak before the title fight.

“I’ll keep reigning, and whoever is next doesn’t matter. They all have similar styles, boxers, and wrestlers, and this is what I’ve built my career on. So whoever comes next, it’s whatever,” Edwards further explained about his plans and his willingness to fight whoever the UFC puts in front of him.

Edwards’ father, who was murdered when he was a teenager, was negatively referenced by Colby Covington at the pre-fight press conference. Many blasted Covington for the actions, including UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland. Strickland went off at Covington at the UFC Seasonal Press Conference.

Leon Edwards talks on bout vs Shavkat Rakhmonov

In addition to Belal Muhammad, who weighed in as the backup for the welterweight title fight at UFC 296, Shavkat Rakhmonov is another potential opponent for Leon Edwards. Rakhmonov kept his undefeated record intact with a second-round rear naked choke submission over Stephen Thompson.

Thompson, a two-time title challenger, has never been submitted in his professional career before. In his octagon interview and post-fight press conference, Rakhmonov called for a title shot or a number one contender fight in the division. Edwards was also asked of Rakhmonov at the post-fight press conference.

“He looked alright, you know. I think Wonder Boy is kind of getting past it a little bit, he’s like 41, 40, 40 years old.”, said Edwards of Rakhmonov’s performance where he also referenced that Thompson is not the fighter he once was when he was the number one ranked welterweight.

“Obviously, he went out there and did what he did. But yeah, if he’s whoever is next, I don’t care, you know.”, Edwards further said of his willingness to take on all comers at the welterweight division. Moreover, Edwards spoke about his plan to best Georges St-Pierre’s title fight records in the welterweight division.

Who do you think is the next opponent of Leon Edwards? Leave your prediction below!


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