Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman aren’t known for talking a lot of trash, but they definitely got a little heated while discussing how their first two fights played out.
Ahead of the trilogy that headlines UFC 286, Edwards was asked about the altitude in Utah for their rematch and how much it affected him before he scored a comeback knockout in the fifth round. He admitted it definitely played a part, but he anticipated no such struggles at home in London on Saturday.
That’s when Usman chimed in to ask Edwards about their first encounter in 2015 when he largely dominated the encounter before winning a unanimous decision victory.
“What’s the excuse for the first fight?” Usman said directly to Edwards.
“What’s your excuse for the f****** head kick you got?” Edwards fired back.
The exchanged brought the London crowd to life but Usman quickly responded by reminding Edwards about what happened prior to his stunning head kick knockout that finished the fight with less one-minute remaining.
Usman also did his best impression of Edwards’ head coach after replays showed him giving the British welterweight an impassioned pep talk between rounds to try and bring out the fire in him. At that stage in the fight, Usman was up by three rounds, which meant Edwards had to get a finish to win … and that’s exactly what he delivered.
“I dropped my hands. There’s no excuse,” Usman said about the head kick. “Beautiful technique, my hand came down and you landed it.
“What was your excuse for the three rounds before it getting your head beat in? Your coach had to beg you! ‘Come on Rock! You’re getting bullied, son! You let him bully you in the first fight and you’re letting him bully you again! Don’t let him bully you son! Get your head out of your ass, Rock, he’s bullying you son!’”
Usman continued repeating himself shouting “don’t let him bully you, son!” as Edwards just smiled and answered back.
“He’s got a concussion,” Edwards said. “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
The fiery exchange definitely raised the stakes as Edwards seeks to prove his late knockout in the rematch was no fluke while Usman attempts to reclaim the UFC welterweight title after largely dominating their first two fights outside of the head kick that ended his championship reign.
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