Welterweight champion Leon Edwards appears to have confirmed Kamaru Usman’s manager Ali Abdelaziz’s claims that a rematch between the two is still in the works for UFC 286 in London, England in March despite previous concerns that a hand injury would force the former titleholder to pull out.
“Yeah, 100 percent, that’s what I’ve been told, that’s what my team has been told,” Edwards said on Michael Bisping’s podcast. “I spoke to the UFC last week, I think, and they said, ‘The fight’s on, he’s already training for the fight.’
“I am aiming towards that, and if anything changes in the meantime, we’ll go from there. But now I’m focused on the trilogy with Usman in London.”
Usman dominated their first fight last in August of last year for much of the five round encounter, only for Edwards to land a textbook head kick that KO’d him with just 56 seconds remaining to shock the world and seize the belt.
Edwards expects a much different fight when they do go head-to-head again, and with Usman’s air of invincibility now broken and ‘Rocky’ enjoying the support of the vocal UK fan base behind him at the 02 Arena, he is feeling confident he can beat him again.
“I just want to see how he reacts to getting knocked out cold, and see how he reacts traveling to the U.K., seeing how crazy the fans are and just see how he comes back because he’s not getting no younger,” Edwards said. “He’s, what, 35, 36? Maybe older? Let’s see how he comes back.
“It’ll be a totally different fight — I’ve said it, my coaches have said it. I’ve never lost in the U.K., amateur or pro, so I’m excited. I love fighting in front of my friends and my family, and yeah, I think it’s going to be a totally different fight. If he thinks he’s going in there and it’s going to be the same fight, he’s in for a rude awakening.”