Kamaru Usman on Leon Edwards trilogy fight: “I probably should have taken a little bit more time off”

By Fernando Quiles - September 13, 2023

Former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman believes he shouldn’t have rushed fighting Leon Edwards a third time.

Kamaru Usman, Leon Edwards

Usman looked dominant during his run as the 170-pound kingpin. He defeated the likes of Tyron Woodley, Gilbert Burns, Colby Covington (twice), and Jorge Masvidal (twice). On August 20, 2022, Usman was well on his way to securing his sixth successful UFC welterweight title defense when a late head kick from Leon Edwards ended the championship run.

Last year’s title fight against Edwards was a rematch. The two first met back in late 2015 and it was Usman who was victorious there. After his mostly dominant performance in the rematch was spoiled by a head kick, “The Nigerian Nightmare” didn’t hesitate to jump on a trilogy fight earlier this year. Edwards made it two in a row against Usman, taking a majority decision in the trilogy fight.


Kamaru Usman Thinks He Rushed Leon Edwards Trilogy

During an appearance on ESPN’s “DC & RC” show, Kamaru Usman admitted that he feels he agreed to a trilogy fight against “Rocky” too soon (h/t MMAFighting).

“I was in his position and I honestly, looking back now, I probably rushed it,” Usman said. “I probably should have taken a little bit more time off. Then if I’m still guaranteed that shot, go fight for that title. Now, a big part of the reason where you jump into the immediate rematch is — and I would say this to myself in my case as well — when you’re in the middle of a title reign, I don’t want a day to go by that I’m not the man in charge. That when they think of the middleweight division, they don’t think about my name as No. 1. So, after that fight, I’m like, ‘You know what? No. I’m not gonna give this man an opportunity to carry around my belt to say he’s the champion and start to do certain things and think of himself as the champion.’ Because the longer that is, the more they start to build that confidence and that bravado, and I don’t like that. So, as a competitor, I was like, ‘No, let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way. Send him back on down to where he belongs as a contender.’”

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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