Exactly 2,436 days after the first fight between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards, the two welterweights are fighting again. Their first bout saw The Nigerian Nightmare win by unanimous decision in a fight from the early preliminary card of UFC on Fox 17 in December 2015.
This time, the two are fighting the headliner fight of UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards 2. It is a title bout in which Edwards will try to take the UFC Welterweight Championship belt away from Usman, who’s been in its possession since March 2019.
If Edwards wins on Saturday, not only will he get ahold of the title, but he will also be the fighter to end Usman’s glorious MMA streak of 18 straight wins. However, if Usman wins, he will make one huge step toward the GOAT status. We’re not talking just about the welterweight division, but the entire UFC.
Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards UFC 278 Odds
All odds are per FanDuel as of August 15.
Where and When to Watch
- Date: Saturday, August 20
- Location: Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Watch: ESPN+, PPV
Usman Needs to Show (Once Again) That He’s the Best
Kamaru Usman is 20-1 in his career, with his only loss happening in his second pro fight, back in 2013. Since then, he’s without a single loss, winning 18 straight bouts. Fourteen of those wins happened in the UFC, where he’s the reigning Welterweight champ, as well as the #1 ranked fighter in the UFC Men’s Pound-for-Pound Rankings.
Most of Usman’s career wins happened via decision, showing that he’s a tactical fighter who’s both patient and durable. When it comes to his finishes, nine happened by knockout and just one by submission.
This might make you think that he’s a knockout artist who doesn’t care much about wrestling/grappling, however, that just isn’t true. The reason why he doesn’t have more submission wins in his portfolio is that he just hasn’t had the need to fight on the floor too often – he’s been able to deal with his opponents while standing up.
Usman has already defeated Edwards, but it wasn’t a title bout. When it comes to the fights for the title, he won the championship belt in 2018 by defeating Tyron Woodley. Since then, he’s made five successful title defenses, two of which were against the #1 in the division, Colby Covington.
On Saturday, August 20, Usman is facing the #2-ranked fighter in the Welterweight division – Leon Edwards.
Can Leon Edwards Take the Belt Home?
Even though his record (19-3-1) isn’t as impressive as Usman’s, Edwards definitely needs to be thought of as one of the best fighters in the entire UFC. Similar to Usman, Edwards too is good at everything, with a plethora of weapons at his disposal. He’s great at boxing, while also being tricky on the floor.
An important fact you should know is that Edwards is undefeated since losing the first Usman vs Edwards fight back in 2015. It’s been nearly seven years since then and Edwards has taken his game to a whole new level, winning some real A-list fighters along the way.
In his most recent fight, he defeated super-motivated Nate Diaz whom we saw throwing punches left, right, and center at Edwards. Even though Diaz landed 50 more strikes than him, it was Edwards who eventually won the fight by decision.
Before that, his fight against Belal Muhammad has declared no contest due to an accidental eye poke by Edwards just 18 seconds into Round 2. Still, you should know that Edwards was on the good road to winning that fight after a very solid display in the first round.
Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards Prediction
Leon Edwards is one of the finest fighters in the MMA universe in 2022. Unfortunately for him, he’s competing in the UFC Welterweight division. And this division is ruled by Kamaru Usman, who might be only a few fights away from taking the GOAT status away from Georges St-Pierre.
Pick: Kamaru Usman by decision