Leon Edwards says he's ready to 'open the door' for Kamaru Usman's retirement from the UFC
| Last updated
Leon Edwards is convinced he’ll be the one to send Kamaru Usman to his retirement in the UFC.
The highly anticipated third bout between the two welterweight stars headlines the UFC 286 event at The 02 in London this weekend.
Their second bout produced perhaps the biggest upset in UFC history as the Englishman broke the former champ's undefeated streak in the promotion.
It all looked to be over for Edwards with the bout heading to a decision and Usman clearly in the lead.
Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman at #UFC286!! 🇬🇧— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) March 8, 2023
TEN days until the trilogy in London! pic.twitter.com/1vQR8dEt5B
However, in a Rocky-like moment, the Birmingham native pulled out a left kick that sent shockwaves through the UFC to capture the welterweight title.
Edwards believes that victory at UFC 278 would have severely impacted Usman’s mental strength.
He believes that a similar loss could have the Nigerian thinking about retirement.
Edwards was asked about Kamaru Usman dressing like Terry Crews at the UFC 286 media day, which left him spitting out out his water and in hysterics.
However, he says his fashion choices reflected the place Usman was at in his career.
Edwards told reporters as per MMA Junkie: “Our mentalities are in two different places.
“I feel like he’s on his way out, and I was going to open the door for him – give him another path to follow his fashion dreams and follow wherever he wants to go.
“I think he’s already got one – something’s out the door and I was going to add to that. Whether he retires after or not, it’s up to him.”
Leon Edwards did a legitimate spit take when Kamaru Usman's fashion was mentioned. pic.twitter.com/bHoWIfJ5g5— The Mac Life (@TheMacLife) March 15, 2023
Edwards was down 3-1 on the judges’ scorecards before throwing the kick out of nowhere and knocking the then-champion out.
The Englishman looked fatigued toward the end, however, claims he never felt hurt.
He continued: “I know Kamaru – he’s using that as, ‘Oh yeah, he was tired in the fight.’ Whether I was tired or not, you got knocked out – and that’s it.
“So at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
“Even though I was tired, he couldn’t hurt me. I wasn’t hurt, really – it was more a fatigue issue. He was wailing at my gloves and I was catching it all on my gloves.
“Even on my worst day, I defeated him. He’s improved from when we’ve first fought, but so have I.”
Leon Edwards defends the welterweight championship against Kamaru Usman in front of his home nation at UFC 286.
Featured Image Credit: Px Images / Alamy.
Topics: UFC, MMA, Leon Edwards, Kamaru Usman