England has seen plenty of great fighters come and go throughout the years with several leaving lasting impressions with their entertaining fight styles and personalities. Arguably the most popular amongst the bunch was Michael “The Count” Bisping who since retiring in Nov. 2017 has been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Winning the middleweight championship in June 2016, Bisping became the first from his country to hold UFC gold. Edwards will have the opportunity at UFC 278 not only to get redemption against the current welterweight kingpin Kamaru Usman, handing him his first UFC loss, but he can also become just the second British champion in promotional history.
While Usman has lived up to his “Nigerian Nightmare” nickname with five straight title defenses and 15 consecutive UFC wins, Edwards is believed by many to have the ability to be the great equalizer at 170 pounds.
“It’s a tough fight for both men and I truly am torn,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “I’m friends with Kamaru Usman, I respect his body of work greatly, but if you think I’m gonna sit here on my YouTube channel, being a proud Brit, and pick against Leon Edwards, you’re out of your god damn mind. I gotta do it. I gotta go with team U.K. just to send that positivity into the atmosphere.
“I’ve got Leon Edwards winning via decision. So, there you go. If Leon wins, it’s because he’s going to outpoint him for five rounds. If Kamaru wins, it’s probably because he’s gonna rock him with a right hand, take him down and try and ragdoll him on the floor.”
Like Usman, Edwards has also been flawless as of late with his last loss coming to the current champion in their initial Dec. 2015 encounter. Edwards has gone 9-0 (1 no-contest) since then and made huge improvements in his own right.
Throughout his reign, Usman has already had two rematches with the likes of rivals Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal. The former has undeniably been Usman’s stiffest test to date in each encounter, having seen Covington win multiple rounds on the judges’ scorecards.
For Bisping, seeing Covington — a relentless wrestler at his core — have the type of striking success he had against Usman, he feels it gives a much more refined puncher like Edwards the chance he needs to become “and new.”
“I think this is a tough fight for both men,” Bisping said. “I don’t think this is gonna be easy. We saw Colby Covington have success with the hands against Kamaru. If Colby has success with his hands against Kamaru then you can bet your bottom dollar that Leon Edwards will have success with his hands or striking against Kamaru.
“He’s gonna have to watch the wrestling. It’s gonna be a dog fight and at some point, as it starts getting later in the rounds, people start to get a little more fatigued, they start making mistakes, people start getting desperate, things start going wrong.”
Analysis. Paths to Victory: How Leon Edwards can get his revenge on Kamaru Usman at UFC 278
Odd. UFC releases former GLORY champion Cedric Doumbe, who claims he’ll return to promotion
Between the Links featuring Evan Elder.
MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck previews UFC 278 with Jon Anik.
Pre-fight presser highlights.
Pre-fight presser staredowns.
Full pre-fight presser.
Chael and Cejudo predict Usman vs. Edwards 2.
Game recognizing game.
Fancy Costa-Rockhold preview.
Funky Costa-Rockhold preview.
The bros check-in.
Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck reacts to Luke Rockhold’s explosive UFC 278 media day.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
View to Puget Sound from Captain’s chair ✈️ pic.twitter.com/fFqWpWyRFz— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) August 18, 2022
What is happening.
Thanks Salt Lake City pic.twitter.com/tqP3aTiZsD— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) August 18, 2022
How about a winter Slugfest @UfcJingliang ? Guaranteed fireworks— BRYAN BARBERENA (@bryan_barberena) August 18, 2022
The conversation continues.
Fighter pay is great when you have a fight; I had 9 cancelled fights one year and since my injury 2021, I had to get a job to make ends meet and have insurance to cover my pregnancy. I love being a part of the UFC, it’s a dream come true. But it is a temporary dream.— Julia Avila (@RagingPandaMMA) August 18, 2022
I love being in the UFC. I love fighting for the fans and putting on a show, but it’s a dog and pony show. I’m just as replaceable as anyone else on the roster and fans will be none the wiser. That’s the hardest pill to swallow.— Julia Avila (@RagingPandaMMA) August 18, 2022
Like business management degrees for the UFC gyms across the globe. PR relations degrees or hospitality to take care of new fighters as older one phase out. I’VE NEVER WANTED A HANDOUT. I WANT TO WORK. in fact, from one of my cancelled fights I offered to stay back & clean mats.— Julia Avila (@RagingPandaMMA) August 18, 2022
Alan about to unretire.
I’m going to pretend I didn’t read this!— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) August 18, 2022
Training has begun— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) August 18, 2022
Storytime with T-Wood.
Classic WMMA as Megumi Yabushita slams Kim Hyun Sung face first with a Seoi-Nage throw knocking her out-cold.— Shooto's Roots (@SurfingMoonWolf) August 19, 2022
(Smackgirl Cool Fighter's Last Stand - 4/30/05) pic.twitter.com/kRo3zZ2naP
UFC 282— BONY (@JonnyBones) August 19, 2022
I used the wrong emoji— BONY (@JonnyBones) August 19, 2022
My goal, my dream is to have my first heavyweight title fight look like my first light heavyweight title fight. Pure domination— BONY (@JonnyBones) August 19, 2022
I always appreciate seeing fan art and the different things people come up with I just saw this on Instagram and while it’s not something I’d hire someone to do it’s still super dope that people make stuff of me for no reason other than love ✊ pic.twitter.com/UkP2WPOmHb— Terrance ‘T Wrecks’ McKinney (@twrecks155) August 19, 2022
Mulan + The Highlight.
So, this is a thing.
Brad Riddell (10-3) vs. Renato “Moicano” Carneiro (16-5-1); UFC 281, Nov. 12
My entire hang-up regarding Edwards’ chances against Usman center around the end of that Nate Diaz fight. Because if Diaz can hurt you on the feet, that’s serious trouble against someone like Usman. Especially over the course of 25 minutes when Edwards hasn’t exactly been much of a finisher on his current stretch of success. It’s still a super intriguing fight nonetheless. Just glad “Rocky’s” getting the chance at all, really.
Happy Friday, gang! Thanks for reading and enjoy the weekend.
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