‘Both Guys I Know Quite A Bit,’ Kamaru Usman Reveals His Pick For Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington

Usman breaks down the next welterweight title fight.

Usman Ufc 296
(via @ufc - Instagram)

Kamaru Usman might just be the leading expert when it comes to the UFC 296 headliner.

The UFC Welterweight Championship is on the line for the second time this year as the champ Leon Edwards takes on Colby Covington this Saturday. This marks Edwards’ second title defense, with his first coming in a rematch against Usman at UFC 286. For former interim champ Covington, it’s his third crack at the undisputed title — which is likely his last opportunity to seize gold.

Altogether, Usman has fought both men a total of five times. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ went 2-0 against Covington in close, competitive bouts. The former champ nearly had it the same way vs. Edwards, but was knocked out by the Brit with a minute to go in their second fight. Usman again fell short in their trilogy, losing by majority decision.

Usman Questions Covington’s Form, But Not His Heart

Not having to fight either of them this time around, Usman gives his analysis on Edwards vs. Covington.

“Both guys I know quite a bit,” Usman said on his YouTube channel. “Been around them quite a bit, seen them quite a bit, been in there with him both. My question is — Colby’s been off for over a year, what form is he really coming in on? That’s what my question is.

“I never questioned whether he has the heart. Colby has the heart. Colby’s gonna fight till he can’t fight anymore and he’s gonna push you. Colby is truly one of those guys that really does try to weaponize his shape, and I do believe I did that in my second fight with Leon. I did weaponize my shape and, and we saw how that played out till the one minute left of the fight.”

Leon’s Kryptonite?

Usman references Edwards’ picture-perfect headkick that put him down at UFC 278. Despite being bested by ‘Rocky’ in their last two outings, Usman can definitely see a path to victory for Covington.

“That’s one of Colby’s strengths,” Usman said of Covington’s ability to ‘weaponize his shape’. “That’s always been his strength even since when he was wrestling. So, Leon hasn’t proven to do very, very well with that.

Usman Locks In Official Prediction

But, perhaps Edwards has learned a thing or two about overcoming that very issue from his most recent fights and that’s why Usman is ultimately picking Edwards to retain the title at UFC 296.

“Now with Leon, with those two close fights with me and obviously the second one he finished, but in that last one, I do kind of believe he believes that he’s the best in the world. So if that’s the belief that he has coming into this fight, maybe he thinks he can deal with that, that pace and pressure. 

“So, with that added confidence, I think Leon gets it done. But, you know, Colby Covington could be, you know, that year off could have been great for him, could have rejuvenated him. So, I don’t know. I know I’m the type of fighter and athlete who likes to be busy. I like to fight. I’m kind of unsure of going into this fight, but if I had to pick, it’s a tough one. But if I had to pick, I’m gonna go with Leon Edwards on this one.”

‘I Probably Will See Both Guys Again’

While he may have moved up to middleweight against Khamzat Chimaev in his latest appearance, Kamaru Usman entertains the idea of fighting for welterweight gold once again.

“Of course, I would love to see both guys, I probably will see both guys again,” Usman acknowledged.

Published on December 14, 2023 at 2:09 pm
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