Former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman feels Leon Edwards needs to remember that he took his soul.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ and ‘Rocky’ faced off in the main event of UFC 278 last August. The bout was a rematch of their prior outing at UFC on Fox 17 in December 2015. On that night, Usman earned the victory by unanimous decision.
Heading into the fifth round of their welterweight championship fight, it seemed the result of the rematch would be the same. While Edwards had early success with the grappling in round one, Usman quickly turned the tables. Heading into the fifth and final round, the challenger needed a finish.
As the story goes, Leon Edwards got exactly that after landing a picture-perfect head kick. Kamaru Usman was out cold, and ‘Rocky’ had his own underdog moment. Months on from that upset victory, the two are set to have their trilogy bout at UFC 286 this weekend in the U.K.
Ahead of the trilogy matchup, the former champion discussed his return in an interview on The Pivot Podcast. There, Usman stated that Edwards should remember that he was taking his soul before the sudden knockout. With that in mind, the former champion is planning on starting fast at UFC 286.
“I’ve never been in this position, but I know that mentally, nothing has changed for me.” Kamaru Usman stated in the interview. “This is the same guy that I beat up before. He’s still going to be the same guy. I have to remind him who he is right away. … When I fight guys, I fight their heart because I want to break their heart. I want to break their spirit and break their soul.”
He continued, “It’s going to be a little bit more difficult this time. In his head, he forgot about the four rounds before the kick. He forgot that I was taking his soul, so I have to remind him that I’m someone who took his soul twice.”
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