EXCLUSIVE | Leon Edwards rips UFC rankings: ‘It’s all more of a popularity contest’

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Leon Edwards

Leon Edwards wants to fight Jorge Masvidal in the near future, but feels that the UFC ranking system is keeping it from happening right away.

While Leon Edwards continues to climb in the welterweight ladder and improve his already impressive winning streak, his place in the rankings doesn’t reflect that, and he’s being vocal about his displeasure. In an interview with BJPenn.com, Edwards discussed his issue with the ranking system and how he feels that the UFC is trending towards a WWE style of entertainment over sport.

Coming off his win over Gunnar Nelson, which elevated his overall record to 17-3 and his winning streak to 7-straight, Leon Edwards is taken aback by the fact that fighters who are talking more but also losing are ranked ahead of him.

“It’s a mad game,” he said. “It’s no more about fighting, it’s more about talkers, whoever talks the most gets the opportunities. I feel like that’s where the sport is going, it’s more like WWE now. You talk trash and you don’t have to perform well. There’s people losing that talk trash and they’re still above me [in the rankings]. It’s a mad game. All I can do is keep focusing on myself, keep chipping away, keep beating these guys they’re putting in front of me. I’m number one, so I’ll fight them all and I’ll beat them all.”

Recently, UFC President Dana White said that a fight between Edwards and Jorge Masvidal wouldn’t happen because there is too much of a gap between each fighter’s ranking, but to Edwards, that just proves it’s all more of a popularity contest.

“You got to think, before Masvidal beat Darren Till he was on a two-fight losing streak. Ever since he beat Darren Till, he moved to number 5 in the rankings and now he’s the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a weird sport we are in, to be on a 7-fight win streak and be pushed outside the top 10, I got people that are above me that are coming devastating losses, it doesn’t make sense to me one bit. I don’t feel this sport is more of a popularity contest now. It’s a mad game we are in and it’s just weird to me.”

There’s no question that the more trash talk and entertainment that is brought into the UFC, the more attention it has received, but fighters like Leon Edwards just want to be given their deserved credit for the performances they’ve put on.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/4/2019. 




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