Leon Edwards has been the dark horse of the Welterweight division - ranked at #3 but hasn't fought in over a year. Stephen Thompson is ranked at #6 but he has his eyes elsewhere.
Speaking to Submission Radio, Stephen Thompson said that he's more interested in welcoming back Nick Diaz than he is about fighting Leon Edwards (H/T The MacLife):
“[I’m]Not really [interested in fighting Edwards]. If I were to be honest, If he ever comes back, Nick Diaz would be a really good fight. Interesting fight for sure. He’s very tough. I think I said something on Twitter the other day about how I would welcome him back to the division for sure,” Thompson said, speaking to Submission Radio.
Stephen Thompson was full of praise for Leon Edwards, however, stating that he feels bad for him and acknowledged that he deserves a title shot:
“But Leon Edwards, he doesn’t have a fight coming up. But I feel almost bad for the guy, because he literally is the guy in the top five who deserves to fight for the title, and I think that him not being able to get out of London and fight had something to do with it, that’s why they put up Gilbert Burns."
"But he definitely deserves the title for sure. We’re managed by the same management company, and I just kind of feel bad that he hasn’t fought for it yet. And he, I think is the scariest guy in the division, he really is. "
When explaining why Leon Edwards is the 'scariest' man at Welterweight, Stephen Thompson said that Edwards came into the UFC as a striker but evolved his grappling game significantly and ranks among the best. Stephen Thompson even stated that with wrestlers like Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman, you know what you're in for.
However, with Leon Edwards, Stephen Thompson stated that he's a lot scarier with the way he evolves and what he brings to the table.
Will Stephen Thompson get the Nick Diaz fight?
According to Ariel Helwani and Nick Diaz's manager, the plan is for an early 2021 return. Stephen Thompson has yet to fight in 2020 and it would be better for him to return to action as soon as possible to move up the rankings.
Leon Edwards is a high risk, high reward fight. Perhaps he's looking more towards the monetary benefit of beating a big name like Nick Diaz.Published 10 Sep 2020, 10:20 IST