What’s next for Leon Edwards after his UFC 296 win over Colby Covington?

Leon Edwards defended his welterweight title against Colby Covington at UFC 296, the final PPV of 2023. It marked his second title defense, with the first being against Kamaru Usman, the fighter from whom he initially won the title.

Edwards has plans to fight for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 300, a decision that brought the wrath of Belal Muhammad, the backup fighter for UFC 296 main event. In addition to Muhammad, Shavkat Rakhmonov, who defeated Stephen Thompson at UFC 296, also called for a title shot against Edwards.

Who is Leon Edwards going to fight next?

Leon Edwards was in a jovial mood at the UFC 296 post-fight press conference and he did not specify an opponent for his next fight. However, he was quite dismissive of Belal Muhammad being next and also found Rakhmonov’s victory over Wonderboy, not something to brag about.

However, Dave Lovell, the head coach of Edwards spoke about their plans for during an interview with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour. “If I had a choice, I would prefer Burns over Belal because I think Burns brings more to the table,” said Lovell of his interest in Edwards fighting Gilbert Burns for his upcoming title defense.

“Leon has had a fight with Belal that ended in a no contest, but it looked like Leon was winning the first round, and he was going in for the kill in the second until the eye poke occurred, “Lovell further added discrediting Muhammad as the next opponent.

As of now, Belal Muhammad, Shavkat Rakhmonov, and the winner of the UFC 297 main event between Dricus Du Plessis and Sean Strickland are the three possible opponents for the welterweight champion. The UFC has yet to announce some more fights for UFC 300 and all signs point to a welterweight or middleweight title fight for Edwards on the coveted PPV.

Leon Edwards coach speaks to Dana White about Colby Covington

During the pre-fight press conference, Covington mocked Edwards’ deceased father which incited a violent confrontation from the champion. Even outspoken UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland bashed Covington at the UFC 2024 Seasonal Press Conference.

In the interview with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, Dave Lovell spoke about the interaction he had with UFC CEO, Dana White. “I even said to Dana after when he came over, I said, “Dana, where do you draw the line?”, said Lovell asking White about the solutions for stopping offensive remarks during trash talks in the UFC.

“Dana turned around and said, ‘Well, listen, you know what kind of scum you’re dealing with,'” Lovell further added that even the UFC CEO does not agree with Covington and he has the same opinion about the former interim champion like the vast majority of the MMA populous.

Colby Covington is in the bad graces of the promotion after the disastrous performance at UFC 296. ‘Chaos’ is now ranked 5th in the division as he dropped two places after the performance against ‘Rocky’ where he could not mount any significant offense.

Who do you think will face Leon Edwards next? Leave your prediction below!


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