Fight fans will witness one of the UFC's most in-demand bouts before the year is out after the UFC confirmed British star Leon Edwards will face welterweight rival Jorge Masvidal on December 11.
ESPN reported that while Masvidal and Edwards are yet to sign their contracts, both teams have been sent their bout agreements, and UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell doesn't expect any hitches.
The pair are scheduled to collide at UFC 269 in what will be the promotion's penultimate card of 2021, where women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will defend her title against Julianna Pena.
It's also understood the UFC is hoping to finalise a fight between lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier as a headliner for the event.
The MMA community has been yearning for a date between Masvidal and Edwards ever since their backstage scuffle at a UFC Fight Night event in March 2019:
Masvidal, 36, knocked Darren Till out in front of a London crowd at the O2 Arena and was giving a post-fight interview to Laura Sanko when Edwards—who beat Gunnar Nelson earlier that night—interrupted.
'Gamebred' was left unchallenged as he closed the distance on Edwards, unleashing a quick flurry of punches that left the Birmingham native with a cut under his left eye as chaos erupted.
It was after that exchanged that Masvidal coined the term "three piece and a soda," a reference to the combo he threw in the face of his would-be welterweight foe.
Who do you think will win out of Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal? Let us know in the comments section.
The Miami-born brawler took to Twitter on Monday night following confirmation of the bout, posting "You're welcome #supernecessary," while Edwards simply wrote "Millionaire" with a pair of eyes emoji.
Masvidal (36-15) is currently on a two-loss streak following successive defeats to welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
He stepped in as a late replacement for Gilbert Burns in July 2020 when he took Usman to a decision, but Masvidal then suffered a second-round knockout when they met again in April of this year.
However, it's worth noting Masvidal has never suffered three straight losses in his career, snapping two-loss runs on two occasions in the past.
Edwards (19-3) is on a 10-fight unbeaten streak, meanwhile, winning all but one of those bouts, with his March meeting against Belal Muhammad having ended in a no-contest due to an accidental eye poke.
'Rocky' has been building towards a shot at the welterweight crown for some time now but has been hampered by delays, including a hiatus of almost two years between fights due to complications caused by the global pandemic.
Edwards, 30, was at one point even removed from the welterweight rankings, although he's since been reinstalled and currently sits third in the pecking order.
Victory over Masvidal would bring the Briton closer to setting up his own date opposite Usman, although manager Tim Simpson suggested his fighter already deserved a chance at the champ: "Despite earning the next title shot, [Edwards] has always been willing to fight Jorge first, provided the terms were correct.
"We are very happy with the deal, and excited to compete in December, and then for a world title thereafter."
The announcement of a clash between Edwards and Masvidal means Brandon Moreno's flyweight title defence against Deiveson Figueiredo has been moved to UFC 270 on January 22, 2022.
No official venue has been announced for UFC 269 as things stand, although it's expected the welterweight eliminator will take place in Las Vegas.
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