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Leon Edwards: Kamaru Usman can follow his ‘fashion dreams’ after UFC 286

Edwards said Usman was dressed like Terry Crews’ character from the film ‘White Chicks’ ahead of their last fight, and the pair square off again this week

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Wednesday 15 March 2023 15:21 GMT
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Leon Edwards KOs Kamaru Usman to win UFC welterweight title at UFC 278

Leon Edwards has said Kamaru Usman will be able to ‘follow his fashion dreams’ after UFC 286 this weekend.

Edwards, who was outpointed by Usman in 2015, knocked out his old rival last August to win the UFC welterweight title. The champion defends the belt against the “Nigerian Nightmare” in Saturday’s main event at the O2 Arena in London.

Ahead of their fight last summer, Edwards said Usman had dressed like Terry Crews’ character from the film White Chicks, a moment that one journalist recalled during Wednesday’s media day (15 March).

Edwards, 31, nearly spat out his drink in laughter, before responding: “It’s a bit too cold over here to be dressing all weird, all funky.

“Our mentalities are just in two different places. I feel like [Usman] is on his way out, and I’m just gonna open that door for him, and give him a path to follow his fashion dreams.

“Whether he retires after or not, that’s up to him.”

Jamaican-born Edwards became Britain’s second ever UFC champion by finishing Usman, 35, with a head kick in the final round in August, with his opponent ahead on the scorecards until the dramatic finish.

Usman, who lost the first round, has insisted that he was ‘breaking’ Edwards in Rounds 2, 3 and 4, but the champion fired back on Wednesday – while doubling down on his claim that the altitude in Salt Lake City had troubled him in August.

“Whether I was tired or not, you got knocked out, so...” Edwards said. “Even on my worst day, I knocked you out.

“If you get knocked out like that, he has to find something to clutch on to. He was winning the fight, but who cares? It goes down as a knockout. [And in the first round] I got his back just like that, with ease. There was no resistance.

In their last fight, Leon Edwards became the first fighter to take down Kamaru Usman in the UFC (Getty Images)

“I feel this will be the best performance of my career. If he’s judging it off that [last] performance, that he ‘broke me’, he’s in for a shock.”

When asked to evaluate the striking of Usman, who is known as a wrestling specialist, Edwards added: “It was alright, it was good.

“Like I said: Even on my worst day, he couldn’t hurt me, it was more of a fatigue issue. He started wailing, and I was just catching it all on my gloves.”

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