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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

UFC champ Leon Edwards’ bucket list includes defending title at Villa Park

UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards hopes he gets an opportunity to headline a stadium show at home.

Two weeks after retaining his title against Colby Covington at UFC 296, Edwards was honored at halftime of Aston Villa’s home win over Burnley this past December at Villa Park in Birmingham, England. Edwards was gifted a customized Aston Villa home kit shirt with “Champ” and the number 1 on the back.

Jamaica-born Edwards (22-3 MMA, 14-2 UFC) moved to Birmingham as a child and would love nothing more than to compete in the famed soccer arena.

“There’s like bucket list venues that you get in your mind as an athlete,” Edwards said on the “Up Front With Simon Jordan” podcast. “When I first moved to the U.K., I lived behind the Villa stadium in Aston, so I’d love to, as a 360-(degree) moment, headline Villa Park back home, defend my world title. I think that for me would be the icing on the cake.”

Edwards’ fight with Covington was linked to UFC 295 in New York, but ultimately landed in the pay-per-view event a month later in Las Vegas. He still hopes to fight in New York.

“I want to do MSG, Madison Square Garden,” Edwards said. “I was meant to do it last November. Or Saudi (Arabia) – they pay well. If not (MSG), I’ll go to Saudi. So all these little venues, I’d love to just tick off my bucket list and just go down as the best of all time. That’s my goal right now. That’s what’s driving me.”

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