The Welterweight champ Kamaru Usman thinks Leon Edwards shot himself in the foot by almost getting finished in the fifth round by Nate Diaz at UFC 263.
‘Rocky’ was dominant for most of the fight, but late in the fifth round, he got rocked with a straight left. Diaz took his time instead of trying to finish it, in the most Diaz way possible.
Edwards has been on an absolute tear beating almost all the other title challengers in the division. The “slip up” as Usman has stated, cost Edwards the title shot. Instead of Edwards fighting for the belt, Colby Covington will now be challenging for the belt in a rematch against Usman at UFC 268 on November 6.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ was very vocal about why he thought Edwards didn’t get the shot at the belt.
“Absolutely because that was an audition,” Usman said in an interview with Daniel Cormier. “You audition for me then I decide it’s you or that guy. Myself and the promotion, we’ll sit down and we’ll say, ‘I like this audition tape. Let’s go ahead and pick him next’ and he went out there and he was auditioning and for a while, he did OK, but then, all of a sudden, the 25th minute, you sh*t the bed. You can’t do that. So that’s what forced the promotion’s hand and my hand because this is business now. Someone has to keep it real with this guy. At the end of the day we know – let’s be honest here, we know this is a business. This is a partnership between us and the promotion. It’s a partnership, you got to give them something to work with. You gotta give them something to sell and they have thrown you bone after bone after bone. Let’s just be honest, based on that last performance, you can’t go out there and do that with Nate Diaz. You can’t do that.” (MMAJunkie)
Edwards is now slated to fight against his rival Jorge Masvidal. A win over Masvidal will ensure Edwards a title shot next against Usman, who handed Edwards his only loss he has had since 2015. Edwards has been tearing through the division and looks to extend his winning streak to 10 fights after his matchup against ‘Gamebred’.
Do you think Kamaru Usman has a point?