Outside of a few scares here and there against Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns, Kamaru Usman has been a truly unstoppable force throughout his run inside the octagon.
Usman joined the UFC in July 2015 fresh off the heels of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 21. Since then, he’s won 15 consecutive bouts and become champion along the way. Five title defenses into his reign and Usman is still lapping the competition. He’s fought identical two fighters in all five of his defenses, with Burns the exception.
Next in line for Usman is expected to be the surging Brit, Leon Edwards, who rides a 10-fight unbeaten streak. Ultra confident in his capabilities, the champion intends to get past Edwards sometime during the summer before trying his hand in the squared circle for a crossover boxing match with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The likelihood of this fantasy matchup coming to reality feels unlikely in the minds of many, including Dana White, and Edwards feels especially so if he has anything to say about it.
“I don’t know where he’s at,” Edwards said told The Mirror. “There’s no way he’s going to beat Canelo anyway and there’s no way he’s beating me. He said that he would come out to fight for the entire fight and can do whatever he likes. I’m ready to go.
“He’s looking to either make a quick buck or test his limits. This is not an extended career so you should get paid if possible. He will be my champion, and I’ll remove the belt from him so he can do whatever he likes .”
As fresh of a matchup as Usman vs. Edwards may feel considering each’s recent stretches, they too are already familiar with one another. The last time “Rocky” tasted defeat — only his third loss in 23 fights — was against Usman in 2015 after “The Nigerian Nightmare” had made his debut at the TUF 21 finale.
All these years later and plenty has changed. Edwards acknowledges the obvious improvements made by the champion, but he doesn’t see the same outcome as the unanimous victory in favor of his opponent.
“He has improved loads but so have we,” Edwards stated. “When I fought him I was 22 years old, I’m now 30 years old. I’ve learned a lot over that space of time but so has he. It’ll be a totally different fight from what it was back then, so we have to look at it as a new fight.”
Robbery. MMA Fighting’s Alexander K. Lee provides a Retro Robbery Review for Paddy Pimblett vs. Julian Erosa at Cage Warriors: Unplugged.
Bum. Israel Adesanya thinks Paddy Pimblett “getting fed a bum at UFC London.”
Nope. Dana White knocks out potential Kamaru Usman in a boxing match with Canelo Alvarez.
Relocation. Colby Covington asks for a title shot against Israel Adesanya.
Between the Links.
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Top 10 Welterweight Knockouts in UFC History.
We Got Next. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck chats with Eryk Anders, Pearl Gonzalez, and Cody Brundage.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Sato got jokes.
1Shi Jian Ban deYue 4kgLuo chiteCan ri500g!!
— Zuo Teng Tian Takashi Sato (@satotenten) March 17, 2022
Good memories for “Drago .”
— UFC on This Day (@UFConThisDay) March 17, 2022
Sweet triangle, bro.
Tom + Darren.
To Middle Earth
Fitness in conjunction with GSP.
“I can’t let you get close.”
Emmanuel Sanchez (20-7) vs. Yancy Medeiros (15-8); Bellator 279, Apr. 23
Chidi Njokuani (21-7) vs. Dusko Todorovic (11-2); UFC Fight Night, May 21
Brendan Allen (18-5) vs. Jacob Malkoun (6-1); UFC 275, June 11
I think Usman vs. Edwards 2 has the potential to be really fun over the course of five rounds. But man, it’s crazy how just one single punch has made me feel like Leon’s chances are way worse than they would be had he not have been hit with that one punch.
Thanks for reading and have a great and safe weekend, everyone!