Leon Edwards has been enjoying his time at the top.
“Rocky” took an extended victory lap after knocking out Kamaru Usman to win the welterweight title last summer in Salt Lake City, a stunning fifth-round comeback that may have saved Edwards from losing a lopsided unanimous decision.
But Usman suggests the victory may have blinded his longtime rival — to the point where “Rocky” forgot about what happened prior to the highlight-reel “Hail Mary.” Edwards may remember (the hard way) when they compete for the third time at UFC 286.
“The kick was the only weapon he used that worked,” Usman told The Pivot Podcast. “It was just a good kick. It was something that I knew that I didn’t do a good job, or I didn’t do as well as I should have, to stop it. But it was just a beautiful kick. Hats off to him. There are minor adjustments I have to make. It’s going to be a little bit more difficult this time. In his head, he forgot about the four rounds before the kick. He forgot that I was taking his soul. So I have to remind him that I’m someone who took his soul twice.”
Prior to their Salt Lake City showdown, Usman defeated Edwards as part of the UFC on FOX 17 card way back in late 2015 and hopes to replicate that performance when they hook ‘em up this Sat. night (March 18, 2023) at The O2 in London, England.
“I’ve never been in this position, but I know that mentally, nothing has changed for me,” Usman continued. “This is the same guy that I beat up before, he’s still going to be the same guy. I have to remind him who he is right away. When I fight guys, I fight their heart, because I want to break their heart. I want to break their spirit and break their soul.”
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