Leon Edwards discusses gun-taunt to Kamaru Usman during UFC 286 introductions: “You’re not beating me tonight”

By Josh Evanoff - March 20, 2023

UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards wasn’t feeling the pressure on Saturday.

Over the weekend, ‘Rocky’ returned to the octagon in the main event of UFC 286. In the headliner, Edwards faced Kamaru Usman in a historic trilogy matchup. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ won their first meeting in 2015, but the Brit scored a knockout win in the rematch last August.

Ultimately, it was the champion who retained his title by majority decision. The fight itself was close, but as Edwards stated on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, he simply refused to lose on Saturday. During the interview, the welterweight titleholder discussed the normally-standard opening introductions.

However, the UFC 286 main event introductions were actually exciting. Usman went across the cage pounding his chest in a sign of confidence. In response, Edwards made a finger gun and mimicked shooting the former champion multiple times. On The MMA Hour, the champion stated that the gun taunt was a sign to Usman that he wasn’t feeling the pressure of the moment.

Of course, it was also a nod to Edwards’ famous post-fight interview after winning the title by knockout last August.

Leon Edwards, Kamaru Usman, UFC 278

Image Credit: UFC

“Oh man. That was just a spirit of the moment thing you know,” Leon Edwards stated on The MMA Hour when asked about the gun taunt made in the UFC 286 main event opening introductions. “I was thinking about doing the headshot thing I did, in the last [post] fight [interview].”

He continued, “But, as he was walking over I thought, and pointed to him [laughs]. As I pointed to his head and kept squeezing I was just thinking, ‘You’re not beating me tonight’. That was the mentality going into the fight. That I cannot come this far, work this hard to lose to you, you know. Then we went out there and got the job done.”

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Kamaru Usman Leon Edwards UFC UFC 286