Stephen Thompson reveals Kamaru Usman possibly out of trilogy fight with Leon Edwards due to hand injury

By Josh Evanoff - December 12, 2022

It appears that Leon Edwards’s trilogy with Kamaru Usman might need to wait.

Kamaru Usman, Leon Edwards

In August at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City, the two welterweights faced off. The bout was a rematch of their prior encounter at UFC on Fox 17 in December 2015. In that outing, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ dominated en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Seven years later, the two men ran it back with the welterweight title on the line. For four and a half rounds, it seemed that Usman would make it 2-0 in the series. However, Edwards had his ‘Rocky’ moment in round five, landing a devastating head kick to score the comeback victory.

With that, the Brit was finally UFC champion, and a visit home seemed in order. Dana White later confirmed that a trilogy bout was being targeted for the U.K. In fact, the promoter intended for the third clash to take place in a stadium, a rarity for the UFC.

However, that fight may need to wait. Welterweight contender Stephen Thompson seemingly let the cat out of the bag in an interview with Fred Talks Fighting. There, ‘Wonderboy’ revealed Usman will undergo hand surgery and will be out for a while.

Thompson also revealed that Jorge Masvidal, who has had a long-running feud with Edwards, is in talks to replace Usman. For his part, ‘Gamebred’ has called for a fight with the champion over the last few months.

Stephen Thompson, Jorge Masvidal

“I’m still going for the title,” stated Thompson in the interview. “I know the guys ranked above me right now are some heavy wrestlers but everybody wants to see me fight a stand-up fight. Which, I don’t mind at all. Any of those guys, Jorge Masvidal, Michel Pereira.”

He continued, “People are in-talks of me fighting Leon Edwards. I know Kamaru Usman is having hand surgery, I know they want to fight somebody in March and they were looking at Jorge Masvidal. He’s a standup fighter, so it kind of inspires me a bit, our division is so wrestler-heavy, and Leon Edwards is a striker and he’s champ. So, anyone of those guys would be awesome.”

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Kamaru Usman Leon Edwards Stephen Thompson UFC