“There’s no one exciting,” Leon Edwards eyes winner of Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis aiming to become first UK double champ

The current Welterweight champion, Leon Edwards, is interested in the winner of Sean Strickland vs. Dricus Du Plessis for the middleweight title.


“There’s no one exciting,” Leon Edwards eyes winner of Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis aiming to become first UK double champ

Leon Edwards wants the winner of Sean Strickland vs. Dricus Du Plessis for the middleweight title (via Imago)

Champions, with their self-confidence and belief in their skills, often want to challenge themselves in other divisions as well. As such, welterweight champion Leon Edwards has set his sights on the middleweight division. Following his upcoming championship defense against Colby Covington at UFC 296 in December, Edwards voiced a strong desire to face the winner of Sean Strickland vs. Dricus du Plessis at UFC 297.

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Edwards has successfully defended his welterweight belt twice, including back-to-back victories against Kamaru Usman. When asked if and when he would consider going up to middleweight, Edwards told Sky Sports:

Next would be perfect, to be honest.Yeah, like I said the division right now, there is no one that is like exciting in the division, except for me. To go out there and to do that, that would be perfect.
Leon Edwards in an interview with Sky Sports

Strickland will defend his middleweight belt in Toronto on January 20. Challengers, notably unbeaten Khamzat Chimaev and Belal Muhammad are looking forward to their title shots. Edwards, who considers himself a formidable fighter in his own right, views the prospective transfer as a chance to become the first British two-division champion.

The possibility of meeting either Strickland or Du Plessis, both strong middleweights, adds a new dimension to Edwards’ ambitions. The welterweight division is brimming with talent and prospective challengers. However, Leon Edwards is looking to the future at middleweight if he wins against Covington.

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The lineup for the UFC 297 card has been announced

The UFC 297 card has been officially revealed. The main event pits middleweight champion Sean Strickland vs. challenger Dricus Du Plessis. Strickland, who is making his maiden title defense, hopes to cement his reign in the main event on January 20 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva will compete for the vacant bantamweight belt in the co-main event.

UFC 297 card lineup announced
UFC 297 card lineup announced (via YouTube/MMA Weekly)

Other fights announced during the UFC 295 broadcast include a welterweight fight between Neil Magny and Canadian contender Mike Malott. Jan Blachowicz seeks atonement in a rematch against Aleksandr Rakic, whose first meeting ended due to an injury to Rakic.

Arnold Allen and Movsar Evloev, both featherweight contenders, will square off, adding another layer of intrigue to the already stacked card. Dominick Reyes, a two-time light heavyweight championship contender, battles the rising Carlos Ulberg in an attempt to stop a career-worst crash.

Brad Katona fights Garrett Armfield and Chris Curtis fights Marc-Andre Barriault in a middleweight fight. Charles Jourdain will fight Sean Woodson in a featherweight fight. Fight fans should expect fireworks when these fighters enter the octagon in Toronto. These matchups make UFC 297 a must-see event in early 2024.

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