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Stats Never Lie UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards

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UFC 278 is on the horizon and with that comes Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards set to collide in the main event on August 20th. With the fight just over two weeks away, it’s time we dig into the numbers of Usman and Edwards because ‘Stats Never Lie’.

This article will explore each fighter’s statistics in order to get a clean layout of how both Usman and Edwards match up before their title fight at UFC 278.

Challenger: Leon Edwards

  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 170 lbs
  • Reach: 74″
  • Stance: Southpaw
  • Birthdate: 8/25/1991 (30)
  • Nationality: England

Leon Edwards (19-3 1 NC MMA, 11-2 1 NC UFC) was last defeated on December 19th of 2015 by none other than current welterweight champ Usman. Since then, ‘Rocky’ won eight straight contests, defeating the likes of Vicente Luque, Bryan Barberena, Donald Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson, and Rafael dos Anjos along the way before having a no-contest (Accidental Eye Poke) against Belal Muhammad in May of 2021. Edwards got back to his winning ways by following up the no-contest and defeated Nate Diaz by unanimous decision at UFC 263 in June of 2021.

Leon Edwards
Sig. Strikes Landed per Min.2.62
Sig. Strike Accuracy (%)49%
Sig. Strikes Absorbed per Min.2.15
Sig. Strike Defense (%)55%
Takedown Average per 15 Min.1.48
Takedown Accuracy (%)35%
Takedown Defense (%)70%
Submissions Attempted per 15 Min.0.3
Wins by KO/TKO (Career)6
Wins by SUB (Career)3
Losses by KO/TKO (Career)0
Losses by SUB (Career)0
Total Octagon Time (UFC) 213 Mins. 26 secs.

Champion: Kamaru Usman

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 170 lbs
  • Reach: 76″
  • Stance: Switch
  • Birthdate: 5/11/1987 (35)
  • Nationality: Nigeria

Unbeaten in the UFC, Welterweight king Kamaru Usman (20-1 MMA, 15-0 UFC) has not lost a contest since his second pro-fight in May of 2013, since then ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ has won 19 fights in a row, defeating the likes of Leon Edwards, Sean Strickland, Demian Maia, Rafael dos Anjos, Tyron Woodley, Jorge Masvidal (twice), Gilbert Burns and Colby Covington (twice). Usman captured welterweight gold by dominating then champ-Woodley by unanimous decision at UFC 235 in March of 2019. Usman has consecutively defended his title five times. Usman was last seen in the octagon at UFC 268 in November of 2021, defeating long-time rival Covington by unanimous decision.

Kamaru Usman
Sig. Strikes Landed per Min.4.66
Sig. Strike Accuracy (%)52%
Sig. Strikes Absorbed per Min.2.59
Sig. Strike Defense (%)58%
Takedown Average per 15 Min.3.00
Takedown Accuracy (%)49%
Takedown Defense (%)100%
Submissions Attempted per 15 Min0.1
Wins by KO/TKO (Career)9
Wins by SUB (Career)1
Losses by KO/TKO (Career)0
Losses by SUB (Career)1
Total Octagon Time (UFC) 249 minutes 53 seconds

Comparing the Numbers

  • Sig. Strikes Landed per Min: Kamaru Usman by 2.04
  • Sig. Strike Accuracy: Usman is 3% more accurate
  • Sig. Strikes Absorbed per Min: Edwards absorbs 0.44 less
  • Sig. Strike Defense: Usman has 3% better defense
  • Takedown Average per 15 Min: Kamaru Usman lands 1.52 more takedowns
  • Takedown Accuracy: Usman is 14% more accurate
  • Takedown Defense: Usman has 30% better takedown defense
  • Sub. Attempted per 15 Min: Leon Edwards attempts 0.2 more submissions
  • Wins by KO/TKO: Usman has three more KO/TKO finishes
  • Wins by SUB: Leon Edwards has two more submission finishes
  • Losses by Finish: Kamaru Usman once; Leon Edwards never
  • Octagon Time (UFC): Kamaru Usman has over 36 minutes more time in the Octagon

Judging by the statistics, Kamaru Usman is the superior striker and takedown artist and also finishes more fights by KO/TKO. Edwards is more of a submission threat, although slim in that metric but Edwards does have more submission victories. The ‘stats never lie’ but that doesn’t always make the case in the sport of MMA, many times fans and pundits alike think they have it all figured out and then the unthinkable happens once that cage door locks. What do you make of the numbers, surprised? Who do you think walks out victorious on August 20th, let us know in the comments!

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Austin Marr was first introduced to MMA by his father when his father enrolled Austin into Catch Wrestling and MMA classes at the age of eleven in 2007, since then Austin’s passion for the sport grows daily. Austin first started covering the sport in 2018-writing articles and creating video content.