Jorge Masvidal versus Leon Edwards is off.
The highly anticipated showdown scheduled for UFC 269 in December will have to wait after Masvidal pulled out of the bout with an undisclosed injury. UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell confirmed the news on Wednesday to ESPN.
Bad blood won't be settled in December
Slated as an undercard to a pair of championship fights on the Dec. 11 card, Masvidal-Edwards was perhaps the biggest draw on the ticket thanks to bad blood between the welterweight fighters. They've yet to meet in the Octagon, but traded blows at UFC Fight Night 147 in 2019.
The incident happened backstage while Masvidal gave a post-fight interview after knocking out Darren Till. In the midst of taking questions from ESPN, Masvidal exchanged words with Edwards as he was walking backstage. Masvidal then challenged Edwards to "come over here and say it to my face."
He then walked away from the interview to meet Edwards, where he punched him repeatedly in the face.
Masvidal later explained his side of the altercation, calling Edwards a "hooligan" and a "scrub" before delivering his now famous "three piece and a soda" line.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 17, 2019
"So I tell him to just say it to my face like a man,” Masvidal said in a March 2019 interview. “You’re saying it and walking away. We’re both men. As I’m walking to him I got my hands behind my back to signal to him that I’m not looking for problems. But he put his hands up like this and he walks towards me. Well, where I’m from if you do that you’re going to punch me in the face and that’s not going to happen.
”You are what you are, you’re just a loser in life, man. You’re not going to get a hit off on me. So I had to give him the three piece with the soda and then just glide out of there, you know? And then some of his friends tried to sucker punch me. Those guys did a big mistake.”
Will Masvidal, Edwards ever fight?
The nature of Masvidal's injury wasn't clear at the time of Wednesday's announcement. He didn't immediately address the news. Edwards responded on Twitter, calling Masvidal a "fraud" while insinuating that he would take time off instead of facing another opponent at UFC 269. He also called out welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Disappointed but honestly I knew this fraud didn't want to fight me anyway. He was just a stop off on the way to the title. The goal remains the same. Much needed family time now, @usman84kg i will see you soon.
— Leon 'Rocky' Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) November 10, 2021
It wasn't immediately clear if the fight would be rescheduled.
Edwards, 19-3 and the third-ranked contender in the division, has fought twice since 2019 — a no-contest against Belal Muhammad that ended when Edwards poked Muhammad in the eye at a UFC Fight Night in March and a decision over Nate Diaz at UFC 263 in June. Since losing to Usman in 2015, Edwards has tallied nine wins without a loss and the no-decision against Muhammad.
Masvidal, the No. 7 contender in the division, is coming off consecutive losses to Usman.