Monday, October 3, 2022

Usman Names What He’s “Not Over” From 2015 Edwards Fight

UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman has more than just a successful title defense on his mind tonight— he’s looking for some payback.

At the promotion’s first Utah-held pay-per-view, elite 170lbers Usman and Leon Edwards will run it back in a rematch that is seven years in the making. Since they first collided in 2015, both men have built impressive unbeaten streaks, forcing their paths to cross once again.

Whilst “The Nigerian Nightmare” will be targeting the sixth retention of his gold in the UFC 278 main event, Edwards will be looking to etch his name in history as only the second UK fighter to have a belt wrapped around his waist on MMA’s biggest stage.

Ahead of the contest, much has been made of the fact that the pair have shared the Octagon in the past, with many debating how that could shape both men’s respective gameplans in tonight’s main event.

And while the reigning welterweight king has insisted that the result of the first fight has been erased from his memory prior to the rematch, there is one moment that he’s still playing over in his head…

Usman: “It Stuck With Me”

During a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, Usman discussed what’s motivating him ahead of another title defense and another rematch, especially having admitted that the future challenge of Khamzat Chimaev would likely “get him up” more.

The champ, who’s held the strap since a 2019 win over Tyron Woodley, recalled when Edwards pushed him at the ceremonial weigh-ins prior to their 2015 bout. Having felt that he didn’t get his own back in the cage, Usman admitted that he’s still looking to deliver some payback to the Brit.

“What he said, it stuck with me. I replay the whole first fight, replay his attitude; his mood, his demeanor,” Usman said. “He gave me a little shove in that first fight and I’m still not over it. You know, when we weighed in at our staredown, he gave me a little shove. I’m still not over that, and I don’t feel like I got enough in that first fight.”

Kamaru Usman & Leon Edwards
Image Credit: MMA Junkie

While the pair are expected to continue what’s been a relatively respectful buildup so far, perhaps Usman will look to return the “shove” when they stare-down later on in fight week.

Who do you think will have their hand raised in the UFC 278 headliner, Kamaru Usman or Leon Edwards?

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