Six years on from Leon Edwards’ last loss to Kamaru Usman, he has become undefeated in his previous ten fights, earning victories over prominent names like Nate Diaz and Rafael dos Anjos. His brilliant performances earned the British international his long-awaited title shot from UFC chief Dana White.
“That kid’s had a rough run and he deserves it. If you look at it, Colby (Covington) lost to him (Usman) twice, Gilbert lost, Leon’s next. He’s No. 3.”- Dana White revealed while speaking to Aaron Bronsteter.
Kamaru Usman won his fifth-straigth title defense since becoming the welterweight champion in 2019, beating Colby Covington in a fierce contest at UFC 268. Speculation still surrounds the exact date the proposed title bout between Usman and Edwards. The availability of the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ is questionable as he recently undergone hand surgery.
Leon Edwards has exchanged a lot of hate speeches with other UFC fighters, including Jorge Masvidal when he withdrew from their proposed fight, yet Usman is big on “Rocky.”
“Leon is much sharper with his striking, He has excellent striking,” Usman said while speaking to MMA Junkie. “I mean, let’s just be honest. We saw it in the fight with Nate Diaz. He tortured him for four-and-a-half rounds and then Nate Diaz did what Nate Diaz does best, come in there and land that shot and steal all the glory. You forgot Leon Edwards won that fight, right? So I think Leon is much improved, his grappling is much improved, his wrestling is much improved, but I’m also much improved.”
“I’m Going To Beat His Face”
Despite initial praise for Edwards’ striking capacity, Usman seems to have harbored grudges for his latest comments and revealed his strategy for their next outing. Similar to their first fight, but different from other fights, Usman plans to use the challenger’s comments to prefigure his expectations.
“He said that if I step in there with him, I won’t be striking the way that I am now,” said Usman. So, I’ll oblige. I’ll give it to you, I will not strike. I am coming in to wrestle, I’m going to take him down, I’m going to beat on his face until he quits so don’t expect me to strike at all. No, I’m going to wrestle, don’t expect me to strike, don’t expect me to strike since I’m not a good striker. Don’t expect me to strike, I’m coming to take him down and I’m going to beat his face”
Is Leon Edward right to downplay Usman’s striking prowess? Do you see Kamaru Usman retaining his title for the sixth time? Let us know!
Feature image credit to Embed from Getty Images