Finally! Leon Edwards Gets A Second Chance At The Nigerian Nightmare

Usman vs Edwards
mmajunkie.usatoday.com / Matt G. Erickson
Dana White has officially announced Leon “Rocky” Edwards will finally have the chance to exact revenge against Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. A date has not been set yet for the rematch, but when asked if Edwards would be next in line for a shot at the welterweight title, Dana replied, “100%.”

This rematch had to be made in light of Edward’s win streak of ten fights in a row, with his last loss coming against Usman in 2015. The timing of this announcement is a perfect addition to the thrilling matchups set for 2022 so far.

In a recent interview, Usman (20-1-0) said that he’s now lapping everyone in the division, which looks to be the case. He is becoming a legend in the welterweight division, dominating everyone he’s faced. Having already beaten Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington twice, this will be the champion’s third rematch in a row.

Leon Edwards deserves this opportunity for all the work he’s done. Many, including Leon, believe he’s been passed over by the UFC in favor of more charismatic fighters like Covington or Masvidal.

Compared to Usman’s last four fights, this will be a step back financially. Still, he agrees Edwards should be the next challenger for his welterweight title. At this point, it’s all about legacy and being the best welterweight to have ever competed in the octagon.

If Usman can continue this reign of dominance in the welterweight division, I believe he will be regarded as the best welterweight ever, surpassing George St. Pierre. Not only that but top five MMA fighters of all time.

Kamaru is the best wrestler in the division, and I can see him taking Edwards down multiple times in this fight. The champion also has a piston for a jab to keep Edwards backing up.

Although Edwards is great at countering while backing up, I don’t think he will be able to handle Usman’s forward pressure. Wrestling opponents against a fence is Usman’s bread and butter. If Edwards’ back is to the cage, Usman will have no trouble taking him down and controlling him.

As a great technical striker at range, Edwards brings something that Usman hasn’t experienced before. Jorge Masvidal is an elite striker in his own right, but Edwards is better, especially with his counter-punching ability.

Edwards is an expert kickboxer and very dangerous with elbows and knees in the clinch. Gunnar Nelson found this out firsthand during their fight. As soon as Edwards is against the cage, Usman should go for the takedown to avoid the clinch.

Usman can’t afford to look past Edwards and assume this rematch will go the same way it did in their first fight. He should be ready for an improved Leon Edwards and watch out for the counter check right hook when throwing his own right hand.

In the Nate Diaz fight, Edwards was rocked while trying to land that counter right. Even though he didn’t go out, he was hurt bad. He can’t risk taking that same punch clean from the more powerful Usman, or it’s Good night, Irene.

I predict Usman will win by split decision in this rematch, with his wrestling being the deciding factor.

Leon Edwards can walk away victorious, but only if he stays at a distance and use the clinch against the cage. He can’t allow himself to be consistently taken down by the champion. Overall, this will be a great fight, and it will be much closer than people think. Who do you think will win this rematch?

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