‘UFC Champ Leon Edwards is not a sh*t talker – I will not do faux trash discuss both’

Lerone Murphy is happy to talk up the quality of UFC 304 in Manchester this month – even if he prefers to take the ‘silent assassin’ approach to his own career.

‘The Miracle’ will be among a capacity crowd at the Co-op Live, with the July 27 date coming just too soon after his last fight, a big win over fellow featherweight Edson Barboza in Las Vegas at the end of May.

Despite missing out on a bout in his hometown, Murphy cannot wait to see the best of British, with the stacked show topped by Birmingham-based Leon Edwards’ welterweight title defence against Belal Muhammad and Wigan heavyweight Tom Aspinall putting his interim crown on the line in a rematch against Curtis Blaydes.

Murphy, who is well prepared for the estimated 6am finish time, said: “There are some great match-ups for the British fighters but I don’t feel there are any one-sided fights. They are all pretty 50-50.

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“I believe Tom Aspinall and Rocky (Leon Edwards) will win, but a lot of the other fights are 50-50. The Arnold Allen and Giga Chikadze match-up is a great fight as well, again a 50-50 fight.

“Even Paddy Pimblett versus Bobby Green is an exciting fight and I am happy that Paddy has been given a solid match-up. I will be in attendance. I went to the Manchester card in 2016 when Michael Bisping fought Dan Henderson and I coped with the start time well then.

“I will just have a nap in the daytime and then have a good coffee around 11pm and I will be up for it all.”

How do you think Leon Edwards will fare at UFC 304? Let us know in the comments section below.

Leon Edwards celebrates victory after the welterweight title bout against Kamaru Usman
Leon Edwards celebrates victory after the welterweight title bout against Kamaru Usman in March 2023

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Murphy is undefeated in 14 MMA bouts, with his last seven wins coming in the UFC to secure the No.11 spot in the 145lb rankings.

Despite being on the cusp of title contention, the 32-year-old, who is likely to face No.7-ranked Josh Emmett next, possibly back in Vegas in late August/early September, refuses to hoot and holler in order to cut the line.

He added: “A lot of people have said it (that I should trash talk more). It is how you grow.

“They say, ‘The more attention you get, the more money you make’. But, for me, I just can’t be fake. I have got to be me, this is me. Day to day, I am a calm person and generally quiet.

Lerone Murphy of England poses for a portrait after his victory during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 16, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Lerone Murphy is a rising star of UFC

“I can’t, then, be jumping up and calling people out. For me, I just want to let my fighting do the talking.

“We have seen it before. Leon Edwards is not a s***-talker and he has become a world champion and done really well. That is the route I want to take. But the goal has always been to become the champion.”

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FINAL SAY: “I would like to get a win against Leon Edwards, who is the best fighter in the world right now at 170lbs.” UFC legend Nate Diaz, after beating Jorge Masvidal in the boxing ring, eyes a return to the octagon.