To: Leon Edwards, From: CME Consulting Services LLC, Re: All This Bullshit

Hey Leon, thanks for reaching out. We received your $40 via Venmo and your request to help, as you put it, “sort out what the fuck to do now, bruv.” We agree, it is indeed a sticky wicket.

A quick glance at your Tapology page confirms that you’ve really been through it these last couple years. A fight with Tyron Woodley cancelled in March 2020. Two fights with Khamzat Chimaev, cancelled first in 2020 and then again in 2021. The no-contest against Belal Muhammad. Another cancelled fight with Mr. Chimaev. Finally the decision win over Nate Diaz June, followed by the booking of this Jorge Masvidal fight that was supposed to (hypothetically) set you up for a title shot if you won.

And now, so it seems, Mr. Masvidal is injured. Bummer, man. That’s a bummer. So what should you do next?

We know your initial reaction was to take a parting shot at Mr. Masvidal (understandable, considering the history between you two) before shifting your focus to the champion Kamaru Usman (after some time off to spend with family, which is also understandable).

But our read on the situation? Bruv, you gotta fight somebody. Preferably soon. And you need to really beat the shit out of them.

We know this is easier said than done. We also know it might not be what you want to hear right now. You’ve got these jokers in your mentions, guys like Mr. Muhammad and Mr. Chimaev, both of which you have tortured histories with, and they’re both trying to get you to accept fights with them when, [Chris Barnett voice] in your mind you’re already the number one contender.

But Leon, you have to look at this through eyes other than your own. That’s what you paid us the princely sum of $40 for, and we can tell you that the UFC and the MMA viewing public and Mr. Usman himself are all probably thinking some version of the same thing right now, and that thing is definitely not, ‘screw it let’s just give Leon the title shot right now.’

We’re not saying it’s fair, but consider the public’s most recent image of you. That would be you doing the stanky leg after Mr. Diaz walloped you with maybe his only good punch of the fight back at UFC 263. Yes, you held on to win that fight. But that shaky moment did happen right there near the end, and it was one of the most memorable exchanges of the entire bout. A lot of MMA fans are not unlike MMA judges: they remember best that which they saw last. And, no offense, but you didn’t exactly leave them with an image of pure dominance.

Then there’s Mr. Usman. Have you noticed the way he talks recently? Does he sound to you like a man who is dying to get in there and defend his title again any time soon? Like you, he seems to be longing for some family time. He fought three times this year. He’s probably going to want to go away and rest for a while before he even thinks about booking another fight. If you wait around for him to return, there’s a good chance some other 170-pounder will make a case for the title shot in the meantime. And last time we checked, Mr. Usman hardly ever even mentions your name of his own accord, so it’s not as if he’s going to be the one pushing for you two to fight again.

Lastly, there’s the UFC. Those tricky devils. Perhaps it has escaped your notice, but you are not the welterweight contender who UFC President Dana White seems most enthralled with as of late. That distinction pretty clearly belongs to Mr. Chimaev. He’s dynamic in the cage. He captures the imagination of the public. He has a bloodthirsty dictator on his side, which in most other sports might be a detriment but in this one somehow is not. He also seems to want to fight constantly, which we all know Mr. White loves.

Can you not imagine a scenario, Leon, where you sit out waiting for a title shot to materialize while Mr. Chimaev fights and wins two or three more times between now and Spring 2022? Because we sure can. And in that scenario, it’s not your phone that rings once Mr. Usman is ready to return.

We’re not saying it’s fair. We’re not saying it’s right. We are saying it is absolutely something that can happen and has happened. You know this, Leon.

This is why we think the thing to do is for you to very publicly push to stay on the UFC 269 fight card. Make someone else take it on short notice. Pretty much anyone else. If it’s Mr. Chimaev, hey, we understand the reluctance to go down that road again, but wouldn’t you rather fight him now than a year or two from now, when he’s gained more experience? And if it’s Mr. Muhammad, weren’t you handling him pretty well last time before the, you know, incident?

Point is, we don’t think you can afford to sit out and wait right now. Too many variables are working against you. If you want a shot at being UFC champion – and while you’re still young enough to do something about it – the thing to do is to beat somebody’s ass soon. Even if you have to catch Mr. Masvidal leaving a pro wrestling taping in order to do it.

Hopefully this helps. Please let us know if there’s anything else we can do.


Ben and Chad, CME Consulting Services LLC

Hey, if you made it this far and didn’t hate it, you should consider signing up for the Co-Main Event Patreon. There you can comment on these posts, argue with other people about them, even call us names or whatever. You also help support the CME and keep the discourse free and unfuckingfettered.

Further reading

Support the CME

With a helping hand from you, the discourse is free and the corporate fat cats are kept away from the door. We love you for that.

Patrons get exclusive access to:

Livestream events

Audio extras

CME Power Hour

CME Movie Club

Drape those old bones in some CME merchandise …

Show those around you that you’re a not-to-be-messed-with, third-dan Dundasso master, or perhaps that you have a very refined taste in tobacco products that are definitely not for kids. Straight up repping your fav MMA-themed podcast is also an option.

Shop merch

Read a book, if you nasty

“Two deadly acts of arson, over a decade apart bind this mystery of an army veteran’s return home. In Chad Dundas’ assured hands, one man’s search for answers makes for a lyrical, riveting meditation on memory.”
Entertainment Weekly, on The Blaze

Shop books

Email the Podcast