The UFC has a little bit of a problem in their welterweight division. They have fights they want to make, but the fighters involved don’t seem interested in the fights that the promotion wants to make. Let’s start with the situation regarding Khamzat Chimaev.
The UFC is wanting to showcase their new star in a headlining fight in November. They wanted Chimaev to fight Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, but Wonderboy has turned down the fight. This leaves the UFC with very few options for Chimaev.
Instead, Wonderboy has called out Leon Edwards. This is a fight that makes sense from a rankings perspective. However, Edwards is not interested in fighting Thompson despite his top five UFC ranking. He cited Thompson’s knockout loss to Anthony Pettis as a reason.
Edwards told MMA Fighting, “As far as Wonderboy, he got knocked out like a fight ago. Pettis knocked him out one fight ago. If I go out there right now and I fight Wonderboy and I beat Wonderboy, the UFC will be like â€˜letâ€™s go one more in the top-five and then weâ€™ll go for a title.â€™ They wouldnâ€™t give me a title shot straight away.”
What should the UFC do?
Despite the objections from Edwards, the UFC should push to make the Wonderboy – Edwards fight. Despite the complaints from Edwards, he really hasn’t defeated anyone of significance inside the welterweight division. His best wins came against Donald Cerrone and Rafael Dos Anjos.
Neither one of those guys are true UFC welterweights. I really don’t understand Edwards’ argument. Yes, he’s won eight consecutive fights, but he hasn’t defeated any top guys in the welterweight division. Wonderboy would by far be the best fighter that Edwards has fought in the division.
Kamaru Usman is fighting Gilbert Burns for the title at UFC 256, and the promotion is working on booking Jorge Masvidal – Colby Covington. The winner of that fight will fight the winner of the Usman – Burns matchup which takes place in December.
Edwards has been begging for a top four opponent, but there’s nobody to fight at the moment. Edwards is in a position now where he either needs to accept the Wonderboy fight, or wait until 2021 for the top four to finish their fights.