UFC welterweight champion, Leon Edwards, will defend his title against Kamaru Usman, at UFC 286 at the O2 Arena in London on March 18, 2023.
The UFC 286 co-main event will feature Justin Gaethje fighting Rafael Fiziev in a lightweight event.
Edwards brutally knocked out Usman in the fifth round last August to hand the Nigerian his first UFC loss and lay claim to the title whereby setting up a trilogy with the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ who would be seeking revenge over the Jamaican-born Englishman.
Usman came out on top in the first instalment of their fight in 2015 via a unanimous decision in Florida. A win for either fighter would not only gain them the belt, bragging right but a huge financial windfall.
Speaking about the fight, Edwards has promised to outperform the Nigerian and retain his title on home front.
“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 any 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.”