Ahead of UFC 286, Kamaru Usman vowed to reclaim the welterweight title in his third fight with Leon Edwards. Specifically, “The Nigerian Nightmare” planned a “soul-taking” at the expense of “Rocky.”
“In his head, he forgot what happened four rounds before that. He’s like, ‘I landed the kick, I’m the champ! I’m good.’ But he forgot what happened,” Usman said in a pre-fight appearance on the Pivot podcast.
“You forgot that I was taking your soul. So I have to remind him who he is: a guy that’s let somebody take your soul, twice. And I’m gonna take it in London.”
What instead happened is a unanimous decision win for Edwards, who gets to keep his title. Watching the fight from a viewing party he hosted was former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who is also a close friend of Usman’s.
“The Predator” uploaded the video on his YouTube channel where he’s seen intently watching the fights that night. After the main event results were read, Ngannou then spoke to the camera to comment on Usman’s performance. He says the former champion was dealing with injuries, hindering him from properly preparing.
“I know that he didn’t train. He didn’t train properly because of a lot of injuries, but he was there. He was there, it’s a victory. An unfortunate victory, but I think now, he’s (more) mentally hurting than when he was before.
“Let’s see what’s next, but I believe he’s gonna get it back.”
Now on his second straight loss, Usman will have to wait in line for another crack at the title. As UFC president Dana White announced, Colby Covington will be Edwards’ next challenger, something the champ vehemently disagrees with.
About the author: Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments. (full bio)
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