The wait is finally over, as UFC 286 is finally here. The event goes down inside the famous O2 Arena in London. The major PPV will see the former champ Kamaru Usman challenging the current welterweight champ Leon Edwards to reclaim his throne. On top of that, it’s a trilogy bout with both fighters winning one a piece. So the stage for supremacy is set, as two of the best in the weight class go head to head.
For Leon Edwards, this fight is the perfect chance to solidify his win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 278. Especially because the way he knocked out “The Nigerian Nightmare” in 2022, left the room open for fans to debate whether it’s a fluke or not. Although there’s evidence to suggest that Edwards planned the kick, Leon would want to replicate the result and beat Usman in a more decisive manner this time around.
As for Kamaru Usman, the motive will be the opposite of Leon Edwards’. He will be desperate to prove that Leon’s head-kick KO was a fluke indeed. Leading up to the bout, Usman has been insistent on the fact that UFC 278 was just a bad day in the office.
However, there are also chatters about Usman potentially retiring from the sport soon. If Usman is truly on his way out, fans can expect the former champ to give his all against “Rocky” to grab the belt and reign over the division one more time!
UFC 286: Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman, Stats
|Stats||Leon Edwards||Kamaru Usman|
|Height||1.88 m||1.83 m|
|Reach||188 cm||193 cm|
Edwards vs Usman: Fight Breakdown
Kamaru Usman currently holds an MMA record of 20-2. However, Usman currently holds a UFC record of 15 wins and 1 loss. Needless to mention, his only loss was against Leon Edwards at UFC 278. Although he has a fearsome reputation for being an amazing wrestler, Usman has only 1 submission win and 9 KO wins in his career. Knocking out Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251, was perhaps the best highlight reel win of Usman’s career.
Leon Edwards, on the other hand, surprisingly has more submission wins than Kamaru. The British fighter has 3 submission wins and 7 KO wins. Ironically, both fighter has 10 finishes in their respective careers. Leon currently has an MMA record of 20 wins, 3 losses, and 1 no-contest. In the UFC, he has 12 wins, 2 losses, and 1 NC. Edwards’ highlight reel moment was KO’ing Usman in the last minute of their bout at UFC 278.
As per UFC stats, Leon Edwards lands 2.59 strikes while absorbing 2.28 strikes per minute. But, he also has good grappling stats with 1.39 takedowns per fight, while attempting 0.4 submissions. Although his striking output is comparatively low, Leon has 5 knockdowns in his UFC career. So his striking is very potent. The only time he was knocked down, was against Bryan Barberena in September 2017.
In comparison, Kamaru Usman is much more active during his fights. With 4.55 strikes per minute, Usman almost doubles the output. In his last bout against Leon, he out-struck Edwards by 83 strikes to 55 strikes. So it will be interesting to see how Leon alters his game to change it.
With an accuracy rate of 48%, Usman also has an average of 3.01 takedowns per bout. After getting taken down in the first round, Usman responded with 5 takedowns of his own in their last bout in 2022
During his striking exchanges, Usman has a tendency to move his head toward one side. It is exactly what led to the KO loss. If he can weed out that issue, the fight becomes completely different. As a result, fans can expect Usman to take an extremely wrestling-heavy approach to this fight. Hence, he is the favorite to win. However, will he be as fluent after such a devastating KO? Fans will find out this Saturday at UFC 286.
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