Edwards Responds to Rumors, Challenges Muhammad
Leon Edwards, the reigning UFC welterweight champion, has recently addressed rumors of knocking out Ian Machado Garry during a training session ahead of UFC 296. Edwards, who briefly trained with the rapidly rising Irish star in England, denies any tension in their relationship.
“There was no bad blood. He just didn’t fit into the gym,” Edwards told MMA Fighting. This cultural clash led to Machado Garry relocating his training camp to Brazil.
Despite Machado Garry’s claims of “insecurities” and “doubts” on Edwards’ part, the champion asserts that these are far from the truth.
“He’s just a different kind of guy. Hard to blend with. Wherever he goes, there are cameras, his wife, and child,” explains Edwards.
Edwards, focusing on his title defense against Colby Covington in the main event of UFC 296, views this as an exaggeration by Machado Garry, perhaps due to his own status as a champion. “He wants to ride on my success and go back and forth with me on social media,” says Edwards.
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Meanwhile, Paddy Pimblett, another UFC 296 fighter, claims that Machado Garry, who is also scheduled to fight Vicente Luque at the event, doesn’t deserve a title contender mention and was knocked out by Edwards during their training. Edwards, while acknowledging the unspoken rule of gym confidentiality, still wanted to clarify what happened in those sparring sessions with Machado Garry. “I didn’t knock him out clean, but he got a taste,” admits Edwards.
Regarding future opponents, Edwards is uncertain if anyone in the division has truly established themselves as the number one contender. This might be surprising to Belal Muhammad, who was eyeing a title shot after defeating Gilbert Burns in May and extending his undefeated streak to ten. Edwards expresses his willingness to face Muhammad or anyone else who clearly emerges as the top contender.
“Is he the number one contender? I don’t know,” says Edwards about Muhammad. “Would I fight him again? Absolutely. If he stands out.” Edwards, eager to be an active champion, awaits his next challenger as decided by the UFC. “That’s easy work. Easy money. If he’s next, he’s next. But does anyone want to see that? Maybe not, but if he’s the guy, I’ll happily silence him.”
Leon Edwards faces significant challenges as UFC’s welterweight champion, amidst controversies with other fighters like Ian Machado Garry and Belal Muhammad. With rumors and disputes shadowing him, Edwards’ focus and preparation for his upcoming title defense against Colby Covington will be crucial. Questions about his relationship with Machado Garry and potential future matchups with Muhammad spark interest and speculation among MMA fans and experts.
With all the turbulence and drama surrounding Edwards, how will this impact his performance in the upcoming fight? Can he maintain his championship and reputation as one of the top welterweight fighters, or will recent events affect his focus and outcomes in the octagon?