At UFC 278, Leon Edwards defied the odds and the expectations of many, as he landed a clinical head kick KO over the now former P4P No.1, Kamaru Usman. ‘Rocky’ is now down to run it back with ‘The Nigerian Nightmare,’ this time on his home soil.
When Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman first faced off, they were both fresh-faced prospects, new to the UFC and not yet fully rounded fighters. That night, Usman’s dominant wrestling would see him pick up a unanimous decision victory.
Years later, the two elite welterweights would find themselves squaring off against one another in the UFC octagon once again. However, this time, the result would be very different. Edwards would find great success in the first round, becoming the first UFC fighter to take Usman down. The now former champ would then rally, claiming the next three rounds with a mixture of heavy strikes and his top-heavy wrestling game.
In the final round, it looked as though history would repeat itself, with Edwards down on the scorecards and appearing fatigued. That is until ‘Rocky’ landed the perfect feint-head kick combination that saw Kamaru Usman knocked unconscious for the first time in his pro career.
Leon Edwards is ready to face Kamaru Usman a third time
Speaking in the post-fight presser, Leon Edwards was asked if a rematch with Kamaru Usman was likely. The newly crowned champ had the following to say:
” I knew going into it, that more than likely we’re gonna have a rematch down the line. Whether it’s next or down the line, we’re gonna have a rematch. He’s been a long champion, they’ve been saying he’s the pound-for-pound best all week… He believed it. As I said in the octagon, the belt belongs to no one.”
In terms of a venue for this trilogy bout, ‘Rocky’ had one place on his mind.
“I heard Wembley. Wembley for sure. One hundred percent. Make it at Wembley, it has to be done. This has never been done before. To have a guy from Birmingham, in the UK, do it from the UK. I know (Michael) Bisping did it first. But he did it from living in America, you know? So it was hard for people like me to relate and say look, we can do it as well. I made a point to stay in the UK to achieve this, to show the other guys coming after me, that look, if you believe in your country, believe in your team, you can achieve it.“