After almost two years since he last stepped into the octagon, Leon “Rocky” Edwards is set to make his return to the UFC on Saturday night. Although he has been inactive, Edwards has not lost since 2015, where he was defeated by the current welterweight champion, Usman, and as a result, the Brit is on an eight-fight win streak since that defeat.
Edwards' most recent fight was against the former lightweight champion, Rafael Dos Anjos, with “Rocky” impressively winning every round on one of the judges’ scorecards, with brilliant elbows and fabulous grappling offence and defence.
Fighting out of Birmingham, Edwards possesses a lethal elbow which we saw him use to knock down Gunnar Nelson back in 2019, and this could be a serious weapon in the fight as Muhammad often walks forwards with his head down whilst looking for a takedown.
Assuming the Englishman brushes off any ring rust and is able to time his signature elbow properly, we could see the move used effectively and hurt Muhammad, who will almost certainly be looking to take the fight to the ground. However, evem then he is up against a talented grappler in Edwards.
The key to victory for the number three ranked welterweight will be to keep the fight on the feet against an opponent who is yet to score a knockdown in his UFC career. However, this doesn’t mean we should expect a knockout from the British-Jamaican, who has seen nine of his 12 UFC fights go the distance. “Rocky” has excellent takedown defence and stopped all five of Dos Anjos’s takedown attempts in his last fight, but even if the fight does go to the ground, the Birmingham man will be more than comfortable working on the canvas, with a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Edwards will look to take the fight over the course of the 25 minutes as he often does. However, Muhammad hasn't long come off the back of a win over Lima, and as a result, will be in top condition himself, so don't be surprised if we don't see a complete masterclass from the Brit, in what is his first fight just short of two years.