UFC Champ Leon Edwards Says the Title Fight Is On: ‘100 Percent’

UFC, Leon Edwards

Getty Leon Edwards looks on.

UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards said that he’s targeting the highly anticipated title bout.

Edwards faced former 170-pound champion and pound-for-pound king Kamaru Usman in Aug. at UFC 278. He started off strong in the first round and became the first man in the promotion to officially land a takedown on Usman. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ recovered quickly and appeared to be ahead of ’Rocky’ on the judges’ scorecards. However, a vicious kick to the head from Edwards in the final minute of the outing would see Usman get dethroned.

Considering the commanding reign Usman had as the welterweight champion, an immediate title rematch was expected to be in the works. UFC president Dana 
White indicated a rubber match between Usman and Edwards for a fight card in the UK would be the likely next option.

All signs point to the contest headlining the upcoming UFC 286 event in London on March 18.

There have been rumors of Usman being unfit to compete stemming from his guest appearance in the promotion Face Off Fight Night 3 last month. Usman can be seen wearing a hand brace, leading many to believe he needed more time to nurse the hand injury.

Edwards Says He’s Fighting Usman ‘A 100 Percent’

In an appearance on former UFC middleweight champion-turned-analyst Michael Bisping’s “Believe You Me” podcast, Edwards addressed the rumors and claimed the trilogy bout with Usman was on.

“Yeah, 100 percent. That’s what I’ve been told, that’s what my team has been told. I spoke to the UFC last week and they said the fight is on,” said Edwards. “It’s all the training for the fight so I was like, ‘okay, perfect.’ So, I am aiming toward that. But if something changes in the meantime, we’ll go from there. Now, I am focusing on that trilogy against Usman in London.”

Another top-ranked contender, such as Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington, or Khamzat Chimaev, would likely be considered to line up against ‘Rocky’ in the case that Usman is not ready.

Edwards Wants To Fight Masvidal When It Makes Sense

Masvidal, a former two-time title challenger, cropped up as a potential replacement to face Edwards. The pair share a heated rivalry and even got in an altercation backstage in 2019 when ‘Gamebred’ landed a few shots on Edwards.

“Smack his head in, that’s what needs to happen. I don’t like it that much that I root for him to win so I can fight him. But he keeps losing so it’s hard to make the fight make sense. I even said to him, ‘if you went out there and fought in December or January with Gilbert or somebody, beat one of them, and I’ll fight you in March.

“Then, get Usman in the summer or something, let him rest his hands a bit. I’ll fight you in March but he didn’t even do that. Why is it two different levels? His career is *going down* and mine is *on the up* so it’s hard to make the fight make sense right now. But that’s the fight that I need to happen, I want to happen.”

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