Usman lost the welterweight title to Leon Edwards at UFC 278 last year. Almost immediately after the shocking result, anticipation ran rampant regarding a trilogy between the two 170lbers.
Usman won their first matchup earlier in their respective careers via a unanimous decision in 2015. It was his UFC debut just months after winning The Ultimate Fighter 21.
Rumors have swirled on social media in recent weeks that Usman won’t be ready to return in time for the upcoming UK pay-per-view, UFC 286, on March 18th. It’s been rumored that a hand injury is delaying a potential return to the Octagon.
Usman was seen with one of his hands wrapped while in Nigeria promoting an MMA event. After footage of him in a hand brace went viral, some speculated that he could be out for a while.
But, Usman’s representation has clarified where the Usman/Edwards trilogy stands.
Ali Abdelaziz Gives Update On Kamaru Usman’s Status
In a recent tweet, Ali Abdelaziz addressed speculation that Usman won’t be Edwards’ first title defense.
“Please enough with the rumors, Kamaru is fighting Leon next, he is good to go,” Abdelaziz revealed. “We bringing this belt back to where it belongs.”
Usman has yet to publically comment on his health status and a specific timeframe for his return to the Octagon.
Up until his loss to Edwards at UFC 278, Usman held the pound-for-pound No. 1 spot with wins over Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns, and Jorge Masvidal. He was and is still in the conversation of the greatest UFC welterweight of all time.
If Usman isn’t able to fight in March, Edwards could potentially face another top contender, such as Colby Covington or Jorge Masvidal. Edwards said he would be open to giving Edwards a title shot over Usman if Usman wasn’t ready for UFC 286.
The UFC 286 main event, which is still expected to feature Edwards and Usman, has yet to be announced. But, Usman’s team seems confident that the trilogy is next in line for both sides.
What is your early prediction for Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman 3?