Stephen Thompson calls out UFC welterweight champ Leon Edwards for his ‘crap’ middleweight aspirations

Stephen Thompson thinks Leon Edwards is getting too ahead of himself by chasing dual-champion status.

Welterweight champion Edwards (21-3 MMA, 13-2 UFC), who will attempt to make his second title defense against Colby Covington in the UFC 296 headliner on Dec. 16, recently stated that he wants to become the U.K.’s first UFC two-division champion if he can get past Covington.

Thompson (17-6-1 MMA, 12-6-1 UFC) faces Shavkat Rakhmonov on the same night Edwards fights Covington. With an array of welterweight contenders vying for a title shot, Thompson says there’s still a lot of work for Edwards to do at welterweight before considering a move up.

“I think that’s crap, because there is, man! There’s a ton of people,” Thompson told Submission Radio. “I think it’s smart for him. He’s only been the champ for one fight, and after those two fights, I feel like if you’re going to go up to 185, give the guys at 170 a chance to get up. Have at least two or three, four fights before you go on. Clean the division out. He hasn’t done that.

“Clean the division out and then go up and fight at 185 because there are some really great, interesting fights at 170. You’ve got me, you’ve got Shavkat, you’ve got Ian (Machado) Garry, who’s undefeated, working his way up, as well. There’s so many other guys that you can fight at 170. Come on, bro. I think he’s just looking for a money fight at this point, which is why he’s saying that. But I think he spoke too soon, because there’s some really good guys in the welterweight division.”

With a win over Rakhmonov, Thompson plans on calling out Edwards, who he sees beating Covington.

“The guy that I’m going to be calling out is whoever is champ,” Thompson said. “And I believe it’s going to be Leon. It’s not for the title. I’m not going out there and calling out, ‘I want the next title shot.’ I want whoever’s champ. And as of right now, before that fight, it’s going to be Leon. I’m going to be calling out Leon. I’m going to let everybody know: UFC, I’m coming for Leon.

“That’s a fight that I thought was going to happen before he even got the title shot. There’s a few times where I called him out, and he wasn’t obviously biting cause he was on a streak. But that’s something that I thought was going to happen before he was champ, and it never did. And now that he’s champ, I think that would be a banger. He’s only been fighting grapplers here pretty much. He’s been fighting grapplers.”

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie