Usman lost his crown at UFC 278 in August to Edwards after “Rocky” landed a fifth-round head kick that put the then-champion’s lights out. UFC president Dana White as week as both fighters have shown interest in running the fight back, and the trilogy between Edwards and “The Nigerian Nightmare” could take place as early as the first quarter of 2023.
Well, Muhammad, who currently sits as the No. 4-ranked 170-pound combatant per the promotion’s official standings, thinks Usman should have to “get back there again.” And in Usman’s place, Muhammad wants his first shot at UFC gold.
“We’re talking numbers, we’re talking rankings…you want to make this a real sport,” Muhammad said recently on Instagram Live via MMA Fighting. “If you want to make this a real sport, there’s no rematches once you lose the Super Bowl. You lose the Super Bowl, you lost the Super Bowl, that’s it, you’re going to have to wait until next year. You don’t get a, ‘Ahh, man. That was a lucky pass.’
“Nah, you lost, you don’t get the rematch right away. You’ve got to go through a whole other season to try and get back there again. So, Usman, sit down a little bit, relax, heal up, [and] let me fight Leon Edwards.”
Muhammad (22-3, 1 N/C) is on a nine-fight unbeaten streak, boasting wins over names like Sean Brady, Vicente Luque and Stephen Thompson. He fought Edwards in March 2021, but the was ruled a no-contest after Remember the Name suffered an eye poke that rendered him unable to continue.
Usman Would ‘Love’ to Fight Edwards in England
The Nigerian Nightmare told TMZ last month that he was more than willing to meet Edwards on his home soil of England. “I would love to go to England and do this in England,” Usman said. “I gotta lot of fans in England, a lot of my Africans, a lot of my Jamaican fans in England so I think it only makes sense.”
Edwards has been adamant about competing in the United Kingdom against Usman. But according to The Nigerian Nightmare, he’ll have more fans cheering him on during fight night than Rocky.
“I think I have more fans in there than he would but it is what it is, going to the UK, doesn’t matter,” Usman continued. “They don’t help you fight. You gotta fight me. You gotta fight the Nigerian Nightmare when you’re in there so that doesn’t really make a difference for me.”
Usman’s Defeat to Edwards Wasn’t the First Loss He Faced as an Athlete
Usman’s defeat to Edwards was only the second of his 20-2 professional mixed martial arts career. Usman and Rocky originally fought in 2015 and the latter was bested via unanimous decision.
The Nigerian Nightmare went on to continually win — which included him notching five title defenses — before Edwards took his belt in August. But, Usman is aware that virtually every fighter faces defeat in their career, and dealing with the comeback can be the most important aspect of it.
“I started wrestling in high school and I lost a lot until I started winning,” Usman said. “Then I went to college wrestling and then I lost until I did win and then I started fighting, then I lost and started winning.”