This MMA Life

Cover image for A 'Nightmare' for Usman?
Joe Gee
Joe Gee

Posted on • Updated on

A 'Nightmare' for Usman?

This weekend in Salt Lake City, Kamaru Usman looks to defend the UFC welterweight title once again. This time, in a matchup that is 7 years in the making against Leon 'Rocky' Edwards.

The two are fighting for the second time, their first matchup was seven years ago which saw a young Usman earn a decision win over an up and coming Leon Edwards. There is no debate what the difference in the first fight was. Although Edwards had a solid first round and was obviously more complete on the feet, Usman's wrestling dominated.

Since then, Edwards has been a part of a lot of canceled fights especially during the time of the pandemic. He has not lost since his fight with Usman which has earned him another title shot. His resume is quietly building, he has beaten some amazing fighters including the likes of RDA, Nate Diaz, and more.

With his undefeated stint, Edwards has also shown that he has evolved on the ground. His wrestling has improved tremendously, although I would not count on that to negate the strength of Usman's wrestling.
Usman has since made his way to the top of the UFC and the P4P list making himself a UFC legend one fight at a time.

I do not need to write about Usman's accomplishments and feats, he is entering into the GOAT conversation not only in his own division, but the promotion as a whole. The biggest question I ask during this fight week is: has the 'Nigerian Nightmare' gotten complacent?

If his level of greatness is any indication, my answer would be no. However, all talk surrounding Usman as of late has been of what he's doing next. His plan apparently is to jump to 205 and challenging the champion there, which will be the winner of Glover vs. Jiri 2. To this I say, not so fast!
Usman is a great fighter, but the technical precision of Edwards, his improving wrestling, and solid jiu jitsu is nothing to turn away from.

He is another in the stacked welterweight division that had Usman not been a part of it, would have held gold already. People have forgotten about him because of his unintentional inactivity.

I would not be surprised if Edwards took the belt this weekend, but I would also not be surprised in the current norm: Usman domination.

Written by Joe Gee

Top comments (3)

Collapse
 
lee profile image
Lee

I think Edwards has a mountain to climb here, doable, but only just.

Was it Leon's last outing when he got rocked by Diaz in the final few minutes? That worried me, he did the chicken dance for a while and Diaz could have finished him, Usman is a killer and a much harder puncher.

Leon has been making a lot of noise on his wrestling skills, let's see how that plays out, either way - ground or standup, I can't see anywhere where Usman doesn't dominate in the later rounds, might be more competitive early on but the tide will eventually turn.

After this, I'll be looking forward to seeing Edwards v Covington.

Collapse
 
hannahwoking1 profile image
hannahwoking

Was it Leon's last outing when he got rocked by Diaz in the final few minutes?

I was screaming at the TV, but Diaz wouldn't be Diaz if he'd gone in for the finish 😂

Collapse
 
hannahwoking1 profile image
hannahwoking

I do hope Leon gives a great performance here, he's been waiting long enough. I can't see him taking home the strap but I can't image it's going to be an easy night for Usman.

I also don't think Usman is taking this lightly.