Can Leon Edwards beat Kamaru Usman in their trilogy fight?

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We take a look at how a rematch between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman would play out

Leon Edwards dethroned Kamaru Usman at UFC 278 to capture the welterweight championship. ‘Rocky’ pulled off one of the greatest comeback victories in a UFC title fight history. What transpired in the octagon at UFC 278 felt like a motion picture. However, the road to victory for Edwards was a backbreaker, and he had to reach out within him to pull out the incredible finish. This victory sets up the idea of an exciting trilogy fight in the future.

Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards
Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards (credits: Bloody Elbow)

Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards fought on the prelims of UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs Cowboy 2, and both fighters have improved leaps and bounds since then.

After defeating Edwards by unanimous decision, Usman ran rampage in the welterweight division, taking the championship belt from Tyron Woodley in dominant fashion. From there, the Nigerian has been unstoppable, extending his UFC winning streak to 15 straight (19 overall) with five successful defenses of his title.

Names in the streak included victories over names like bitter rival Colby Covington twice, Jorge Masvidal twice, Gilbert Burns, Rafael Dos Anjos, Demian Maia, and Sean Strickland.

In their first fight, Usman dominated the fight and outclassed Edwards with his wrestling. The Brit had few good moments, including a triangle choke attempt, but Usman’s overall skillset proved too much for Edwards who lost by unanimous decision.

Going into UFC 278, Kamaru Usman was undefeated for nine years before he met Leon Edwards. The fight began with Edwards using his range to keep Usman away. He threw a strong calf kick and body shots to open his attacks. Usman realized that he needs to utilize his wrestling to disrupt the British fighter’s flow.

He quickly closed the distance and initiated a clinch. Edwards however, maintained his composure and posture forcing Usman into a clinch contest. In one of the rarest sights in a Kamaru Usman fight, Edwards established strong under-hooks that postured the Nigerian up. and used his full force to trip Usman and secure a takedown. ‘Rocky’ obtained a dominant position of full mount, and quickly took Usman’s back. He worked his way for a submission in the remainder of the round.

Realizing that he was one round down against the challenger, Usman came into the second round stronger. He pressured his opponent with intent, and forced his wrestling onto him. He managed to wear down his opponent who seemed to have no answers for Usman’s wrestling proficiency.

The Nigerian was taking down his opponent at will and it looked like he was well on his way to a decision victory. Before the last round, Edwards’ corner encouraged him to dig deep and urged him to push the action. He pulled out a sneaky head kick weapon from deep in his arsenal, that stifled Usman and knocked him out cold. What followed was clear display of thrill and agony from both sides, and a reminder of why this is the most unpredictable sport in the world.

Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman 3

Even though Edwards pulled off one of the most epic comebacks at UFC 278, surprisingly he is a significant underdog in the latest odds released for their trilogy bout. UFC president Dana White laid the idea of a trilogy fight in United Kingdom post UFC 278. The idea was welcomed with open arms by both Edwards and Usman.

Usman remains the betting favorite to regain his title after the opening odds for a trilogy with Edwards were released on Sunday.

The odds were released on

Leon Edwards +285 (57/20)

Kamaru Usman -350 (2/7)

Based on those odds, Usman is favored at more than 3-to-1 to beat Edwards and reclaim the welterweight title assuming the fight is booked in the near future.

That means it would require a $350 bet to earn back $100 on Usman while a $100 bet on Edwards would return $285 should he walk away victorious for a second time. [via MMA Fighting]

Our Prediction- Like Edwards’ head-coach Dave Lovell suggested, recovering from a loss, specially from a vicious knockout is no easy feat. The battle to complete recovery mentally is a huge task, and Usman will fight with a chip on his shoulder should the rematch be booked. Even Khabib Nurmagomedov provided his two cents in an interview suggesting the same. So how would a rematch between the two play out?

While the odds suggest otherwise, we believe that Edwards will be much more confident and fight a better fight. Usman will probably go into the fight with a wrestling heavy approach but Edwards may pull-off the victory. A fight in the UK would play to the home turf advantage of the Brit.

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Edited by: Gerard Crispin