UFC: Leon Edwards Believes He Knows Kamaru Usman’s Weakness

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  • Welterweight contender Leon Edwards is likely one win away from a shot at champion Kamaru Usman.
  • English star set to face Nate Diaz at UFC 263.
  • Believes Usman’s striking will be champ’s downfall.

UFC rising contender and welterweight stud Leon Edwards is set to face fan-favorite Nate Diaz at UFC 263.

This weekend’s latest PPV will see Diaz return from a near two-year layoff to square off against Edwards in the promotion’s first-ever standard bout to have five rounds.

Currently preparing to face one-half of the notoriously tough Diaz brothers, Edwards already has his sights set on the division’s belt.

The welterweight division has been governed by 170lb star and pound-for-pound great Kamaru Usman since the Nigerian won the title off Tyron Woodley in 2019.

Since then Usman has gone on to reign supreme over all those put in his way.

Four successful title defenses against the likes of Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns, and a double victory over Jorge Masvidal have cemented Usman’s place among the sport’s greatest ever champions.

Apr 24, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Kamaru Usman (Red Gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (Blue Gloves) during UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Kamaru Usman (Red Gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (Blue Gloves) during UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

However, despite suffering a historic loss against the champ, Edwards, who has undoubtedly improved as a fighter since their first fight back in 2015, is likely to be the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’s’ next contender.

Currently, on a stunning nine-fight unbeaten run, Edwards, now ranked as the division’s top three contender, appears to be just one win away from a shot at gold.

The Road to Glory is ‘Rocky’

Since making his promotional debut all the way back in 2014, English all-rounder Edwards, nicknamed ‘Rocky’, has enjoyed a monumental rise.

Boasting an impressive overall professional record of 18 wins and just four losses, the Erdington-born ace has already reached double figures in the illustrious UFC.

Despite being well on his way to the top of the welterweight pile, Edwards has been unfortunate not to have competed more frequently over the last couple of years.

A series of unfortunate injuries and a positive COVID-19 diagnosis had forced the 29-year-old to be sidelined and out of action for nearly two years.

However, after making his long-awaited comeback against fellow contender Belal Muhammad in March this year, although the bout, unfortunately, ended in a no-contest due to an accidental eye-poke, ‘Rocky’ is now set for a quick turnaround.

Jul 20, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; Leon Edwards (blue gloves) after his win over Rafael Dos Anjos (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at AT&T Center. Edwards won by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 20, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; Leon Edwards (blue gloves) after his win over Rafael Dos Anjos (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at AT&T Center. Edwards won by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of this weekend’s stacked and hugely exciting UFC 263, Edwards, who spoke to BT Sports’ Adam Catterall, has predicted how he envisions Usman’s welterweight reign to come to an end.

Yeah, for sure, his [Usman] strikings getting better, you know. I think he’s probably fallen in love with his hands now, you know.

Like I said, to go out there and put Masvidal away, Colby away, and Burns away — he’s probably fallen in love with his hands. But I think that’s gonna be his downfall.

He’s gonna fall so in love with his striking, but I that’s gonna be his downfall, in the end, you know.

Leon Edwards on Kamaru Usman’s recent striking improvements
Leah is a 28-year-old professional British sports journalist who specialises in reporting on top-flight European football and MMA. Leah works for a top-tier UK sports media company which is where she can be found providing exclusive content and interviews with some of sport's biggest names. In her spare time Leah enjoys playing poker and listening to American hip-hop!

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