UFC president Dana White has named Leon Edwards as the next challenge for reigning welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Dana White recently spoke to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter and indicated that the likelihood of Edwards getting the next shot at gold was high.
Dana White and company are trending toward the Englishman fighting for gold next. Edwards has endured many speed bumps on his way up the welterweight ladder. The pair of welterweights fought many moons ago. Initially, Usman and “Rocky” met in 2015 where “The Nigerian Nightmare” took advantage of Edwards’ lack of wrestling chops.
After suffering from a severe case of COVID-19 and going through multiple fight cancellations, the prospect of “Rocky” fighting for a world title seemed bleak. Despite racking up an amazing 9-fight unbeaten streak in the UFC, many were of the mindset that he may never contend for gold given the current climate of international MMA shows. Following countless hardships, Edwards looks to be in a prime position to challenge for gold.
Dana White Confirms Leon Edwards Will Rematch Usman
Speaking with Bronsteter, Dana White appeared adamant that Leon Edwards will “100 percent” be next for 170-pound titleholder Kamaru Usman. While the UFC boss was unable to issue a timeframe for the expected match-up, it’s exciting to see Edwards finally getting his shot.
“That kid’s had a rough run and he deserves it,” White told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. “If you look at it, Colby (Covington) lost to him (Usman) twice, Gilbert lost, Leon’s next. He’s No. 3.”
Leon Edwards last competed against Nate Diaz at UFC 263 in June. The victory came by unanimous decision and expanded the Englishman’s unbeaten streak to 9. Along his impressive run at welterweight, he managed to defeat Donald Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson, and Rafael dos Anjos.
Meanwhile, Kamaru Usman picked up three title victories in 2021 and had arguably his best year in the sport. Starting off his season, Usman took on a training partner in Gilbert Burns. Despite facing adversity early, the champion poured on the pressure and stuck to his jab to win a ground and pound TKO victory.
Following his title defense against Burns, Usman knocked out Jorge Masvidal in highlight-reel fashion in their rematch. The welterweight champion left no doubt as to who the best in the world was in 2021 after he defeated Colby Covington in their highly anticipated rematch at UFC 268.
Do you think Leon Edwards has the tools to defeat Kamaru Usman?