Kamaru Usman is convinced he will exact revenge over Leon Edwards at UFC 286

In Sport


‘It’s time for me to get violent… this time I’ll keep my hands up!’: Kamaru Usman is convinced he will exact REVENGE over Leon Edwards at UFC 286 in London, with ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ claiming Brit ‘knows’ who the real champ is

  • Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards face off at UFC 286 in London on Saturday
  • Edwards took down and knocked out the Nigerian Nightmare in Salt Lake City
  • Usman promised a ‘violent’ display as he looks to exact revenge over Edwards

Kamaru Usman has promised a ‘violent’ performance to exact revenge over Leon Edwards at UFC 286 in London on Saturday night.

Usman had never been taken down or knocked out before Edwards achieved both feats against him in Salt Lake City last year.

‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is not accustomed to his mentality being questioned but this trilogy fight will test his skills and mettle to the limit. At 36, it remains to be seen whether the stunning head kick KO will have diminished him or simply initiate a fresh era of dominance for Usman.

In the immediate aftermath of last year’s title fight, Usman was desperate to exact revenge as soon as possible and even talked up the idea of having the fight in London. 

He has his wish and the biggest pay-per-view card ever on UK soil will take place this Saturday night.

Kamaru Usman promised a 'violent' display to exact revenge over Leon Edwards at UFC 286

Kamaru Usman promised a ‘violent’ display to exact revenge over Leon Edwards at UFC 286

Usman (left) had never been knocked out before Edwards (right) achieved both feats against him in Salt Lake City last year -

Usman (red gloves) and Edwards (blue) face off at Vivint Arena during UFC 278 in August 2022

On Wednesday, Usman said: ‘He has the belt, by definition he is the champ. Between him and I, we know… I can’t speak for everybody else. Saturday I will take it off him. 

‘He landed a beautiful kick, the recoil, I’m a fan of it. I’ve just been trained that way. I’m wired that way. A great win from him but it is time for me to go in and get violent. 

‘He will open the door for me to walk through because I’m the king. The funny thing is, he’s forgetting what happened for 24 minutes in the last fight. He landed a beautiful technique but you’re forgetting what happened.

‘Once we get in there I’m throwing everything from the kitchen and bathroom at him! I felt violent going into three fights. Moraes was one because I felt disrespected by matchmaking. The first Covington fight, we all know what he said. Me and Colby were the best wrestlers in the company and didn’t wrestle at all.

‘Masvidal the second time, there were all his excuses to the point where I felt violent in the second fight. This fight I’m starting to get this feeling and I want to feel it all.’

For the middle three rounds of the defeat last year, we saw vintage Usman. His smothering wrestling and pressure had Edwards gasping and grasping at the thin air.

Altitude won’t be a factor this time so it will be fascinating to see whether the Brit’s engine is able to keep running for the duration. If it does, he should have the advantage on the feet, although Usman has come on leaps and bounds in recent years.

Usman dismissed the altitude comments out of hand, saying: ‘Leon knew he’d be fighting at altitude and was there two weeks before. That wasn’t the first time Leon and I have fought and the first one looked a lot like the second one. Most people would be disturbed by the trauma of the KO but I’m not ordinary, I’m extraordinary.’

Usman does accept there’s a difference in pressure and motivation entering as the challenger, having defended the belt for so long, often against the same opponent.

He added: ‘Motivation changes, when you defend and defend and defend it can get monotonous. It was almost boring with Mayweather. The reason people watched was to see someone able to beat him. I have the opportunity to fall as a champion and rise again.

Edwards is seen celebrating his stunning win over Usman in Salt Lake City

Usman is eager to exact some revenge inside the octagon

Usman (right) had never been taken down or knocked out before Edwards (left) achieved both feats against him in Salt Lake City last year – and now the Nigerian Nightmare is out for revenge

‘Lifestyle changes drastically when you’re not the champion any more. When you’re the champ beating everybody you have an aura of invincibility, everyone wants to be around that and it can start to drain you out. After the last fight it just calmed down. I’ve not been quiet, I’ve just been working. I was just cherishing the chance to grind.’

Usman has dominated like few champions before him and now has the added thorn in his side of a loss to avenge.

He will be an incredibly dangerous challenger for Edwards and the capacity crowd are in for a treat on this historic night for British MMA.

He concluded: ‘I wanted to do violent things and I want to do that again this weekend. This is the biggest fight the UFC has ever seen in the UK.’





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