Leon Edwards believes his time away from fighting has proved to be a blessing in disguise as it has allowed him to improve his skills without putting much stress on his body, unlike UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, whose body is “breaking down”.
Edwards has only fought twice since his victory over Rafael dos Anjos in 2019, against Belal Muhammad at UFC Vegas 21, where the fight was ruled a no-contest due to an accidental eye poke, and against Nate Diaz at UFC 263, where he won by a comfortable unanimous decision. Usman has made five successful title defences during the same time span, with his most recent win coming against Colby Covington in their rematch at UFC 268 in November last year.
Usman has been out of action since his Covington fight due to a hand surgery for a tendon issue that required additional time to heal. The Nigerian has also had recurring knee issues and underwent a double hernia surgery after his welterweight title win over Tyron Woodley in 2019.
Leon Edwards On Kamaru Usman Rematch
Speaking to CBS Sports, Edwards said that right now is the best time to fight Usman as his body is breaking down due to constant wear and tear.
“All I’ve been doing is training,” Edwards said. “The Khamzat Chimaev fight, for example, that’s three camps. I’ve done many camps and improved leaps and bounds. Now is the perfect time to fight. I think those years looking back on it now were blessings in disguise. It gave me time to hone my skills and polish what I needed to polish. [Usman’s] competed but he’s also been in wars. His body is breaking down and I think now is the perfect time. But I’m not going in there thinking that. I’m going in prepared for the so-called pound-for-pound best.”
Usman secured a comfortable unanimous decision victory over Leon Edwards when they fought for the first time in 2015, but both fighters have grown leaps and bounds since then, and fans are expecting a competitive fight this time around.
Who do you think will win the welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards at UFC 278 next weekend?