In mid-December, Stephen Thompson caused quite a commotion among MMA fans when he announced that he had heard that Kamaru Usman would be canceling his match against Leon Edwards and that Jorge Masvidal would be stepping in as a replacement.
This news left many fans disappointed, and rumors of Usman having injury problems persisted in the following weeks. However, Ali Abdelaziz sought to quell these rumors, insisting that Usman would definitely be competing. Leon Edwards further added to the certainty of the match by appearing on the "Believe You Me" podcast, hosted by Michael Bisping.
Edwards' thoughts on Usman's comeback
“Yeah, 100 percent, that’s what I’ve been told, that’s what my team has been told,” Edwards told Michael Bisping on Believe You Me. “I spoke to the UFC last week, I think, and they said, ‘The fight’s on, he’s already training for the fight.’ “I am aiming towards that, and if anything changes in the meantime, we’ll go from there.
But now I’m focused on the trilogy with Usman in London”. “I just want to see how he reacts to getting knocked out cold, and see how he reacts traveling to the U.K., seeing how crazy the fans are and just see how he comes back because he’s not getting no younger,” Edwards said.
“He’s, what, 35, 36? Maybe older? Let’s see how he comes back. “It’ll be a totally different fight — I’ve said it, my coaches have said it. I’ve never lost in the U.K., amateur or pro, so I’m excited.
I love fighting in front of my friends and my family, and yeah, I think it’s going to be a totally different fight. If he thinks he’s going in there and it’s going to be the same fight, he’s in for a rude awakening”.
Kamaru Usman will turn 36 in May, and while his peak years may be limited, it would be unwise to count him out just yet. He will undoubtedly come into the match with a strong motivation to prove that the mistake that cost him the victory in the last match was an anomaly.