UFC Welterweight Leon Edwards Lost His Father When He Was Just 13 Years Old


Jan. 30 2024, Updated 11:00 a.m. ET

 Leon Edwards attends the UFC 296 pre-fight media day on Dec. 13, 2023, at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Colby Covington invoked Leon Edwards's dad during a press event on Dec. 14, 2023, leading many to wonder what happened to him.
  • Leon's dad was shot and killed when Leon was just 13 years old at a nightclub over a dispute about money.
  • Leon knew his father was involved in crime, and credits his mother with keeping him from going down the same road.
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During a December 2023 press event in anticipation of a UFC welterweight fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington, things got out of hand almost immediately. Colby took at dig at Leon's father, and Leon had to be restrained to keep the fight from starting early.

Given Leon's visceral reaction to Colby's comments, many are now wondering what happened to Leon's father that has made the subject so touchy. Here's everything you need to know about why Leon is so sensitive about conversations around his dad.

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Leon Edwards being held back during a press event with Colby Covington.
Source: Getty Images

What happened to Leon Edwards's father?

Leon lost his father when he was 13 years old, just four years after his family had left Jamaica for a life in Birmingham, Ala. Leon said that his father was shot dead in a nightclub over a conflict involving money in 2004.

“It was probably like 2 in the morning. I was in my room. She was in her room. We hear the phone ringing. I heard her crying, and I knew from then something bad, you know," Leon explained, describing the night they heard the news.

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Leon said that he understood that his father was involved in crime, and almost went down that same road himself. He credits his mother with introducing him to MMA to keep him off the streets, and he has been very successful. Leon was looking to defend his championship for the second time against Colby, and his opponent certainly gave him plenty in the way of motivational fuel. Leon went on to beat Colby via unanimous decision.

Leon Edwards faces off with Colby Covington in the UFC welterweight championship fight.
Source: Getty Images

Leon Edwards faces off with Colby Covington in December 2023.

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What did Colby Covington say about Leon Edwards's dad?

During a press conference on Dec. 14, 2023, Colby insinuated that Leon's dad "resides" in hell. “On Saturday night, I’m going to bring you to a place you never want to be,” Colby shouted, “I’m going to bring you to the seventh level of hell. We’ll say ‘what’s up’ to your dad while we’re there.”

Leon threw a water bottle at Colby the second he heard the remark, but was restrained before things could come to blows.

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Leon has always honored his mother, in part because he knows how hard it was to raise him alone.

All these years later, though, it's clear that the subject of his father is still a sensitive one for Leon. He made it clear that Colby crossed a line when mentioned his father.

It was definitely Colby's goal to bother Leon with his comment about his father, which likely fueled his determination to defeat Colby in their Dec. 16 match.

According to Forbes, Leon intends on defending his UFC Welterweight title at UFC 300 in April 2024 so stay tuned!

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