Leon Edwards, Islam Makhachev ordered to ‘stay in their freaking divisions’ and abandon played-out UFC double-champ chase

Leon Edwards, Islam Makhachev ordered to ‘stay in their freaking divisions’ and abandon played-out UFC double-champ chase

  • MMA News
  • décembre 29, 2023
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Everyone (and their mother) wants to be a double champ.

That’s according to longtime lightweight Paul Felder, who also serves as “Fight Night” commentator. According to “The Irish Dragon,” the appeal of holding two belts is (unfairly) taking precedence over the duty of regularly-scheduled title defenses.

Both Leon Edwards (welterweight) and Islam Makhachev (lightweight) have been calling for double-champ chances, despite just two respective title defenses.

“We established that this (Belal Muhammad) is the No. 1 contender, you’re (Edwards) also saying that you want to break Georges St-Pierre’s record, but then we got Islam Makhachev out there saying he should be next for the welterweight belt,” Felder said on his “Round-Up” show with Michael Chiesa (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “Guys, stay in your freaking divisions, reign over your division. Can we get dominant champions before you all start wanting to fight for other belts?”

Complaining about double-champ challenges is like moaning about fighter pay: it’s easy to be against an opportunity that is consistently out of reach. Would Felder pass on the chance to claim a second title in as many weight classes — for the betterment of the division — if the promotion was interested in making that dream a reality?

Only “The Irish Dragon” knows for sure.

“It didn’t used to be like this,” Felder continued. “The guys that did this in the beginning — obviously Conor (McGregor) is an exception. He did it; it was craziness. He was a superstar. (Daniel Cormier) did it because he earned it and was a 205’er. Amanda Nunes earned it. Now it’s just like everyone and their mother wants to be able to be a double champ. And it’s like, ‘Well, how about you get a whole lot of title defenses first, then you go and step up?’”

That may be a question for matchmakers, as well as talent.

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