Streaking UFC welterweight contender, Leon Edwards aims to avenge a 2015 loss to current division kingpin, Kamaru Usman, and is confident that his improvements in the seven years since their first matchup – leaves no viable way for the Auchi native to improve to 2-0 over him.
Edwards, who currently sits at #3 in the official welterweight rankings, received the seal of approval on the next title shot at 170lbs by promotional president, Dana White – who also recently booked an April 9. pairing of fellow contenders, Gilbert Burns and Khamzat Chimaev.
Undefeated in his last 10 straight fights since his unanimous decision loss to Usman in December 2015, Edwards, a staple of Team Renagade BJJ & MMA, most recently handed Nate Diaz a unanimous decision defeat at UFC 263 back in June – in the first five round, non-title, non-main event feature in the history of the organization.
While an official event or date for Edwards title challenge rematch against Usman has yet to be booked, defending champion, Usman is expected to return at UFC 267 or UFC 277 at the beginning or end of July, respectively – after recently undergoing a surgical procedure to address a ligament injury in his right hand.
Speaking on his chances of defeating the dominant Usman and handing the recent Trevor Wittman and ONX Labs trainee his first promotional loss, Edwards maintains that feasible, this time around, Usman can’t defeat him.
“I don’t know where he is,” Leon Edwards told The Mirror during a recent interview ahead of UFC London. “There’s no way he’s going to beat Canelo (Alvarez) anyway and there’s no way he’s beating me. I saw something came out the day where he said he’s coming out to wrestle for the whole fight, he can do what he wants. I’m ready to go.”
“It’s either the payday or he’s trying to test himself, one or the other,” Leon Edwards explained. “It’s not a long career, so if you can get paid, get paid. I’ll be the champion when he leaves,l so I’ll take the belt off him, then he can do what he wants to do.” (Transcribed by MMA Fighting)
In his most recent outing, Usman successfully landed his fifth consecutive defense of the welterweight crown with a second career win over former interim division champion, Colby Covington at UFC 268 back in November at Madison Square Garden.