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Leon Edwards brushes off ‘Wonderboy,’ lobbies for Gilbert Burns after UFC 256 title scratch

Leon Edwards wants Gilbert Burns to put his No. 1 contender position on the line now that he’s not getting a title shot at UFC 256.

Burns (19-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) was targeted to challenge welterweight titleholder Kamaru Usman on Dec. 12, but the matchup has been postponed to an underdetermined early 2021 date after the champ’s lingering injuries pushed back his timeline.

Sensing an opportunity, Edwards (18-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC), a top contender who is on an eight-fight winning streak but has been struggling to get booked for a top-tier fight, is pushing for Burns to fight him and reaffirm who should fight for the belt (via Twitter):

December 12th title fight has been postponed.
#UFC256 needs a main event!
@GilbertDurinho you little tree stump, you have nowhere to run now!
Let’s see who the REAL number one contender is!

I’ll step in vs @GilbertDurinho he was never the real number one contender. see you dec 12

Edwards hasn’t seen action since a dominant decision victory over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on ESPN 4 in July 2019. He was supposed to fight Tyron Woodley in March, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic scratched his fight date, and he’s been unable to get a new fight finalized since.

Although the people pleading to fight Edwards are few and far between, one top name at 170 pounds, Stephen Thompson (15-4-1 MMA, 10-4-1 UFC), has thrown his name into the hat.

“Wonderboy,” a two-time title challenger in the division, said he wants the matchup with “Rocky” (via Twitter):

you’ve been out over a year now…if I’m on my way down then I should be a nice tune up fight to get people to remember your name again! #JustTryingToHelp #RingRust

Edwards stifled Thompson’s request in favor of his pursuit of Burns, though. The British fighter shut down that request, and said Thompson does nothing to advance his position toward his ultimate goal: fighting for UFC gold (via Twitter):

I know you didn’t write this tweet so I’ll forgive you this time. I don’t get ring rust I’m a championship fighter that stays in the gym. You was knocked out cold one fight ago by a lightweight. fighting you right now does nothing for me. #respectfully

Burns weighed in on the situation, and agreed with Thompson that the Edwards fight is logical (via Twitter):

Go fight Wonderboy!

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