Ahead of their blockbuster UFC 278 rematch on August 20. – reigning UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman has urged the #2 ranked contender and incoming title challenger, Leon Edwards, for knocking out and twice defeating common-rival, Jorge Masvidal – following a 2018 skirmish between the two in London.
Kamaru Usman, who attempts to land successful title defense number six against past foe, Edwards at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah – previously holds a UFC Fight Night Orlando unanimous decision win over the Birmingham technician back in December 2015.
Sharing the stage with Edwards at a press conference this Friday night in Las Vegas, Nevada ahead of their August championship re-run, Usman maintains that he’s is “100 percent ready” to return to the Octagon following a recent surgical procedure to address a ligament injury in his hand.
Questioning the mentality and ability of the pound-for-pound number one, challenger, Edwards replied by claiming that he was unsure if Auchi native, Kamaru Usman was actually what he thought he was himself.
Predicting a title coronation of his own against Usman and the chance to avenge his most recent loss back in 2015, Edwards was met with constant question of how he would actually manage to defeat him – given the fact he has yet to taste defeat during his roughshod run in the UFC.
Urging Edwards to reflect on his UFC Fight Night London post-fight scuffle and skirmish with the aforenoted, Masvidal backstage at The O2 Arena – Usman asked the former to thank him for handing the Floridian a pair of championship losses – the second of which courtesy of a brutal knockout in April of last year.
Listing a slew of potential future opponents, Kamaru Usman weighed up the possibility of sharing the Octagon with the likes of Khamzat Chimaev, Belal Muhammad, Sean Brady, Vicente Luque, and Shavkat Rakhmonov – as well as past opponents, Colby Covington, and Gilbert Burns.
Following UFC 275 last month where Jiri Prochazka handed then-light heavyweight champion, Glover Teixeira a submission loss to mint himself as the champion – Usman’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz claimed his client would defeat both. And the welterweight titleholder backs those claims, remaining coy that he would likely only defeat “some” contenders at 205lbs.
Kamaru Usman teased Leon Edwards with a chance to touch his championship gold
After an intense staredown between the two, Usman could be heard asking Edwards, “do you want to touch it” – referencing his UFC title, and when the latter reached out to grasp the championship belt, Usman turned away – title in tow.