Kamaru Usman knows Leon Edwards is better since the first time they met but he also has improved.
Usman and Edwards first met in 2015 and it was ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ who won by unanimous decision. Since then, Usman has gone 13-0 including defending the belt five times while Edwards’ only UFC loss is to Usman and he has earned the crack at the belt.
The hope for many is the fight will take place in July assuming Usman’s hand is alright. Although Usman won the first fight, he is expecting a better Edwards but he’s still confident that still won’t be enough to defeat him.
“Leon is much sharper with his striking,” he said during a Q&A session at T-Mobile Arena. “He has excellent striking. I mean, let’s just be honest. We saw it in the fight with Nate Diaz. He tortured him for four-and-a-half rounds and then Nate Diaz did what Nate Diaz does best, come in there and land that shot and steal all the glory. You forgot Leon Edwards won that fight, right? So I think Leon is much improved, his grappling is much improved, his wrestling is much improved, but I’m also much improved.”
The hope for Kamaru Usman is he can return in July at International Fight Week for the rematch with Leon Edwards. It would be an intriguing matchup to see how much better each man has gotten since 2015 and whether or not that would change the outcome of the fight. But, for the welterweight champ, he says the outcome would be different as this time around, he would KO Edwards.
“If Leon Edwards wants the smoke in July, International Fight Week here in Vegas for you guys, I’ll put him to sleep, too,” he said.
Kamaru Usman is coming off a decision victory over Colby Covington back at UFC 268 and prior to that, he knocked out Jorge Masvidal in April and TKO’d Gilbert Burns in February to go 3-0 in 2021.