Leon Edwards may officially be UFC champion, but Kamaru Usman says Rocky knows who’s truly the best 170 lb. fighter, and it’s not him … it’s “The Nigerian Nightmare.”
35-year-old Usman joined Babcock on the TMZ Sports TV show (airs weeknights on FS1 ) … just days before his highly-anticipated rematch in London against 31-year-old Edwards.
“At the end of the day when you are at home and you look at yourself in the mirror, you know who you are, you know if you’re the best and you know if you’re not the best,” Usman said.
“There’s nothing that he can tell himself that ‘I’m the best’ because you haven’t proven that. Of course, you threw the Hail Mary and it landed and you have that belt but deep down inside, he knows what I’ve done to his heart and this Saturday, I’m gonna remind him.”
Of course, Edwards was dominated for most of their UFC 278 in August 2022 … and went into the fifth and final round needing a knockout to win the belt. In stunning fashion, Leon landed a perfectly placed/timed left round kick to Kamaru’s head with just over one minute left in the fight, ending one of the best title runs in welterweight history.
We asked Usman if he planned to approach the fight differently … perhaps using his wrestling more as a way to mitigate Edwards’ striking ability.
“[Leon] has no answer for what I bring to the table as a mixed martial artist. Why change anything?” Kamaru responded.
“Of course, be mindful and keep your damn hands up so you don’t get kicked in the head again but at the same time, I believe I’m the better mixed martial artist and this Saturday I can’t wait to prove it again to the world!”
Kamaru and Leon are knotted up at one win a piece. The winner of Saturday’s fight not only wins the trilogy but will leave the welterweight champ.
“I think the world knows who the better mixed martial artist is, and I can’t wait to go in there and prove that on Saturday.”
UFC 286 goes down from London’s O2 Arena — in Edwards’ backyard — Saturday afternoon!
We also talked to former UFC heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou about his good friend Kamaru’s upcoming title fight, and while The Predator has respect for Leon, there’s no doubt about who he’s pulling for at UFC 286.
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