Stephen Thompson and Gilbert Burns weigh-in on Leon Edwards declining Jorge Masvidal fight

stephen thompson, gilbert burns, leon edwards
Jul 10, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Gilbert Burns fights against Stephen Thompson during UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Top-five UFC welterweights Stephen Thompson and Gilbert Burns both have an opinion on Leon Edwards turning down a fight against Jorge Masvidal. And in a way, it channels a version of an MMA good cop, bad cop combo.

Leon Edwards says thanks but no thanks to Jorge Masvidal matchup

On Wednesday, “Rocky” took to his Twitter account to inform the MMA realm that any discussion about a booking between him and sixth-ranked, two-time title challenger Masvidal can be put to rest because he isn’t interested.

“My next fight will be for the world title. I don’ want to hear nothing about a guy coming off 2 fight skid and got KO his last fight,” Edwards wrote.

The losing streak and knockout references are in regards to “Gamebred’s” last two Octagon appearances. Both came against reigning welterweight king Kamaru Usman. The first was a UFC 251 unanimous decision loss on a week’s notice. In the follow-up, he suffered his first stoppage loss from strikes in over a decade at UFC 261.

Stephen Thompson nicely calls for second fight with Masvidal

With the news spinning around the MMA news cycle, the fifth-ranked “Wonderboy” seized the opportunity and called for a rematch with the uber-popular “Baddest Mother F*cker” champion.

“Well if Leon won’t fight [Masvidal] I’d love to step in and run it back. We all know Masvidal 2.0 is a different animal,” Thompson wrote.

Thompson, 38, beat Masvidal, 36, in the pairs UFC 217 bout in 2017. Following the loss, the Floridian won three straight and earned his way into his consecutive title opportunities.

Gilbert Burns trashes Edwards after declining Masvidal bout

When it comes to second-ranked Gilbert Burns, 35, the former title challenger had some harsh words for the Englishman in two separate tweets seven hours apart.

“You are scared! You call Masvidal out now you don’t want to fight. You call me out only when I have a title shot, now is ducking! You are fake,” Burns wrote in the Wednesday afternoon tweet.

“Man this make zero sense to me. First the guy hit you with 3 pieces and a [soda] on your country, nothing happened. You being asking for this fight for years. Last month you just did and now you turn the fight down. Is it just me or this guy doesn’t like to fight? It’s crazy!” he said in the second tweet.

The three-piece-and-a-soda the Brazilian is referencing is the now-infamous incident following Masvidal’s knockout win over Darren Till in England two years ago. During a backstage post-fight interview, Masvidal and Edwards traded words. It lead to the Cuban stopping the interview to chat a bit more with the 30-year-old. During the short conversation, Masvidal dealt out three unanswered punches on Edwards before UFC staff and security separated them.

Thompson (16-5) and Burns (20-4) last competed against each other at UFC 264. On that night in Las Vegas, Nevada, Burns earned a pivotal unanimous decision victory and kept himself in the hunt for another title opportunity.

Edwards (19-3) compted the month before at UFC 263. Beating Nate Diaz in a special five-round non-main event matchup.

As for Masvidal (35-15), he has not fought since April, however, his manager stated earlier in the month that he expects him and his client to talk to UFC matchmakers soon to set up his next appearance in the Octagon set.

What would be your matchups if you could book Burns, Thompson, Masvidal, and Edwards’ next fights?

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