Ali Abdelaziz Declares Kamaru Usman As The Next Welterweight Title Challenger: ‘Please Enough With The Rumors’

Kamaru Usman's Manager Is Tired of Rumors Saying Leon Edwards Will Defend His Title Against Someone Other Than His Client

Kamaru Usman
Ali Abdelaziz (Left), Kamaru Usman (Middle), and Leon Edwards (Right) (Image via Instagram)

 Ali Abdelaziz has denied any possibility of Kamaru Usman not getting the next welterweight title shot. 

Leon Edwards turned the MMA world upside down by defeating ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ with a fifth-round head kick knockout at UFC 278. ‘Rocky’ gave Usman his second loss and ended his title reign dating back to March 2019. 

The widespread belief was that Usman would get an immediate rematch, especially since he was one minute away from retaining the welterweight title. Everything changed when word got out that the former 170-pound king needed hand surgery, which he had problems with in the past. 

Rumors began circulating about a different contender getting the next title shot while ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ recovers. Usman’s manager, Abdelaziz, wants those rumors to end. He had this to say on Twitter: 

“Please enough with the rumors, Kamaru is fighting León next, he is good to go. We bringing this belt back to where it belongs.”

After pulling off the massive upset against Usman, ‘Rocky’ is likely getting the hometown title defense he always deserved. Dana White has hinted at Edwards’ first welterweight title defense headlining UFC 286, which is being held inside the O2 Arena in London, England. The event is scheduled for March 18.

UFC 286 currently features Jennifer Maia vs. Casey O’Neil, Jake Hadley vs. Malcolm Gordon, Joanne Wood vs. Luana Carolina, and Marvin Vettori vs. Roman Dolidze. Although Edwards might be joining the fight card, the welterweight title challenger has not become official. 

Should Kamaru Usman get an immediate rematch against Leon Edwards?

There is no valid argument for Kamaru Usman not getting an immediate rematch against Leon Edwards, assuming he’s fully healthy. The former welterweight champion defended the title five times and dominated Edwards before the head kick landed. 

With that said, if Usman isn’t ready for March, the UFC could give Edwards a different title challenger to ensure he gets his hometown title defense. So, who would fight ‘Rocky’ in this hypothetical situation?

The primary options discussed have been Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, Khamzat Chimaev, and Belal Muhammad. Masvidal has star power and history with Edwards, but he’s also coming off three consecutive losses. Muhammad has earned respect in the welterweight division, but most people believe he needs another win. Covington would make sense, but he’s still in a legal battle with ‘Gamebred.’ Finally, Chimaev is the most likely, assuming he can make the weight. 

Only time will tell who Edwards ends up fighting for his first welterweight title defense. 

Published on January 5, 2023 at 11:57 pm
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