Leon Edwards seeking May UFC return; who makes sense for him to fight?

Daniel Cunningham
Leon Edwards

It’s been just over a week since UFC Vegas 21. In the headliner, Leon Edwards (18-3, 1 NC) made his highly anticipated return against Belal Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC). Edwards was looking for a performance that would show the world he’s ready for a UFC title shot.

In the first round, Edwards looked sensational. His striking looked crisp and he wobbled Muhammad badly with a headkick. However, the second round would end the fight in a way that nobody wanted to see.

When Edwards was setting up a kick, he pushed his hand out and it poked Muhammad badly in the eye. After Muhammad wasn’t able to continue, the fight was ruled a No Contest. After nearly two years away, the UFC return for Leon Edwards ended with no clarity.

Last week, Edwards appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience. He talked about the fact that he was going to go on to finish that fight and the eye poke just delayed the inevitable. Edwards said he has no unfinished business with Muhammad and wants to move forward.

With that, Edwards was seeking a UFC title shot. However, we now know that UFC 261 is being headlined by the rematch between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. Edwards told Rogan that he was seeking a May return which would line him up right after that title shot.

Who should the UFC pair Edwards with?

The fight that makes the most sense to me is the fight with Colby Covington (16-2). Covington is the former UFC interim champion and he doesn’t have an opponent at the moment. However, Covington has said he’s only interested in a matchup with Masvidal or Usman. 

In an ideal world, UFC 261 would happen with Covington and Edwards fighting in a title eliminator the next month. However, there are many hurdles to clear for that one. The next logical option for Edwards with be Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-4-1).

Wonderboy has been calling for a fight with Edwards a lot over the last couple of months. This would be a fun matchup and would get Edwards in there with a top guy. I can’t see any other option besides these two for Edwards. It’ll be interesting to see what the UFC decides to do for Leon’s next fight.