Morning Report: Michael Bisping reacts to Leon Edwards vs. Nate Diaz at UFC 263 ‘It’s almost unfair’


This past Saturday at UFC 263, Leon Edwards faced Nate Diaz in the first five-round non-title, non-main event fight in UFC history. Unofficially, the bout appeared to be a top-contender bout with many projecting that the the winner would fight current champion Kamaru Usman. Until the fight actually happened, that is.

Edwards dominated most of the fight, however in the final round, Diaz staggered Edwards with a punch, sending “Rocky” into survival mode for the final minute of the bout. Edwards was able to make it to the final bell and won a unanimous decision on the back of sweeping the first four rounds of the fight, but unfortunately for Edwards, Diaz’s late game almost-heroics may well have cost him a title shot, at least, so says UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping.

“ Leon Edwards, what are you doing?!” Bisping said on his Believe You Me podcast. “What are you doing? He dominated that fight – don’t get me wrong, Diaz is so tough and he made it so entertaining the whole time, every time he was messing around, turning his back, and all the antics and talking to him. Diaz is so tough and he makes every fight exciting. That’s why he’s got so many fans but Edwards was dominating that fight and it was almost like he couldn’t do anything wrong. When they clinched, he took him down with authority, beat him up on the ground, opened him up with those crazy elbows, kicked the sh*t out of his leg…. But then he f*cks up in the fifth round and almost gets knocked unconscious.

“This is not the worst for Leon Edwards, because obviously the worst scenario would be had he got knocked out or lost the fight, but Leon needed to go out there and beat Nate Diaz, take all of his fans, and then become a household name in mixed martial arts. Unfortunately, now the narrative isn’t all about the four-and-a-half rounds of extreme dominance that Leon Edwards put on him…. but the narrative now is that had there been one more round, Nate would have knocked him out. Had this been on the street, Leon would have been done for. Now the narrative is ‘I can’t wait to see Nate Diaz.’ Yes, Leon went out there and beat him but they’re all talking about Nate Diaz.”

Bisping is not wrong in his assessment. Following the bout, Diaz said that “in the real world, that fight’s a wrap” and UFC President Dana White affirmed that former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington would get the next welterweight title shot. Even Edwards himself had to admit he screwed up, which tallies another in a string of disappointments for Edwards. Riding a 10-fight unbeaten streak since his last loss (a decision to Usman), Edwards spent nearly two years on the sidelines due to COVID-19 and injury issues. Then, when he finally made his return this year against Belal Muhammad, the bout was stopped just 18 seconds into the second round when an accidental eye poke prevented Muhammad from continuing, resulting in a no-contest. Now, in what was ostensibly a showcase fight for Edwards to set him up for a title shot many feel he deserves, Edwards shot himself in the foot.

“It’s so Leon Edwards,” Bisping said. “I feel for the guy. He’s just kind of – it’s not bad luck. You can’t call going out there and beating Nate Diaz by a dominant decision, 49-46, that’s not bad luck. That’s a great night at the office. It is! It’s so Leon Edwards, it’s unfair! The guy is on a 10-fight unbeaten streak, he’s got all the momentum, he’s beaten great fighters and he just beat Nate Diaz but at the end, people are talking about Nate Diaz and how tough he is.

“He needs a finish. He’s got to get a finish. And I can’t say that, I had plenty of decisions. I’m not saying that from a negative standpoint, but it would have shut up a lot of people. It would be a very different discussion right now had he finished Nate Diaz. I just feel for him because it’s almost not fair, which you don’t say that in fight sport. Everyone is talking about Diaz and how tough he is and the rest of it and they’re not talking about Leon who kicked the sh*t out of him for four and a half rounds!”

Bisping is right that “fair” doesn’t live in combat sports, and given White’s determination in booking Usman-Covington II, it seems inevitable that Edwards will need one more win to finally get a title shot. Fortunately for Edwards, Bisping believes there is one ready-made opponent for just this occasion.

Jorge Masvidal, man,” Bisping concluded. “That’s who it needs to be. Masvidal vs. Leon Edwards. That’s the fight to make. The three-piece and the soda. Masvidal assaulted him in London. There is backstory there for days. That has to be the fight for Leon.

“Masvidal has to take that fight as well. Far be it from me to be talking sh*t about Masvidal. I’m not talking sh*t, but the reality is this, if you go out there and crack another man in the face who is in your weight class and you both work for a company that matches their employees against one another and puts them in an octagon to fight, the pieces of the puzzle are there. It doesn’t take a championship puzzle maker to put the final piece of this jigsaw into place. You both fight for the UFC, you’re in the same weight class, you’re both riding high in the division, and the last time they saw one another, Masvidal hit him with a three-piece and the soda. That absolutely, unequivocally has to be the next fight for both of those men.”

Masvidal and Edwards previously had a run in back in 2019 backstage after UFC London where Masvidal hit Edwards with the now infamous “three-piece with the soda” during a physical altercation. Since then the two have feuded publicly but a fight has yet to come to terms. Now though, with Masvidal coming off his second straight loss to welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, it may be the time to finally let these two settle up in the cage.


Lapse. Leon Edwards admits he got ‘lazy’ and ‘complacent’ in final round against Nate Diaz.

Borrachinha. Paulo Costa offers to fight ‘Moron’ Marvin Vettori after UFC 263.

135. Deiveson Figueiredo doesn’t rule out move to bantamweight after rough weight cut for UFC 263.

Hater. Dana White slams Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley, scoffs at supposed payday for boxing match: ‘It’s all a bunch of bullsh*t’.

Hardball. Georges St-Pierre reveals details of past UFC negotiations, career earnings: ‘I was making many millions of dollars’.


Rise of The Korean Zombie.

Free fights.

Adesanya vs. Vettori.

Chael Sonnen also drinking the weird Vettori Kool Aid.


The Co-Main Event. Discussing the key takeaways from UFC 263.

Jack Slack. Breaking down the most interesting fights from UFC 263.


Amosov returning to Ukraine to a hero’s welcome.

Good advice.

Friendship.

Glad to see Vettori’s team is taking the loss well . . .

Charming.

Less charming.

Cleared that up.


Tecia Torres (12-5) vs. Angela Hill (13-9); UFC 265, Aug. 7.

Marlon Moraes (23-8-1) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (13-4); UFC 266, Sep. 25.


Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


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