Leon Edwards was dominating Nate Diaz for the majority of his fight at UFC 263. The pair were facing off at the first-ever five-round non-title fight in UFC history. For 24 minutes of the fights, Edwards had outstruck Diaz, causing significant damage to the ‘Stockton Slugger’.
However, in the most unexpected turn of events, Nate Diaz switched on like a hotspot, connecting a shot that landed flush on Edwards’ jaw. The left-hand punch sent Edwards careening to the cage, as he became wobbly, with his legs losing control. Had there been another minute, or another round, Diaz would have finished him.
In the end, Leon Edwards won the fight via. unanimous decision, scoring 49-46, on all three judges scorecard. This was the Brit’s ninth consecutive victory in the UFC. He hasn’t lost since losing to Kamaru Usman (then debutant), way back in December 2015.
‘This is not the worst for Leon Edwards‘ – Michael Bisping
Elsewhere, former UFC fighter and Hall of Famer Michael Bisping gave his opinion on the Edwards vs Diaz fight. He claimed that things could have gotten more worse for Edwards had been knocked out by Diaz. However, he went on to state that Edwards’ win, nine-fight win streak were marred by the last minute of the fifth round.
Bisping was quoted as saying, “This is not the worst for Leon Edwards, because obviously the worst scenario would be had he got knocked out or lost the fight, but Leon needed to go out there and beat Nate Diaz, take all of his fans, and then become a household name in mixed martial arts. [via MMA Fighting]
Bisping continued, “Unfortunately, now the narrative isn’t all about the four-and-a-half rounds of extreme dominance that Leon Edwards put on him…. but the narrative now is that had there been one more round, Nate would have knocked him out. Had this been on the street, Leon would have been done for. Now the narrative is ‘I can’t wait to see Nate Diaz.’ Yes, Leon went out there and beat him but they’re all talking about Nate Diaz.” [via MMA Fighting]
Who’s next for Leon Edwards?
Following his win against Diaz, Edwards expressed his desire to fight the champ Kamaru Usman in a rematch. He claimed that he deserved to get a title shot. However, Usman was having none of it, as he told Brett Okamoto that he wasn’t willing to face the Brit, after that dismal last round.
If a fight against Usman, doesn’t come to fruition, a fight against Jorge Masvidal is what Edwards must look into. The fight makes all sense, and it would cement Edwards’ position as the top-ranked welterweight.