UFC will travel to the UK for the third time in two years in Mach 2023. The company is set to hold UFC 286 inside the O2 Arena in London. There are rumors that UFC wants to book the trilogy bout between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman to headline the PPV. However, recently, news started spreading that Kamaru is scheduled to have hand surgery very soon.
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson appeared on Fred Talks Fighting YouTube channel and broke the news. He stated that Usman will undergo hand surgery in the coming months. Thompson also revealed that the UFC is looking to replace Kamaru with Jorge Masvidal.
🚨 Kamaru Usman may be OUT of the trilogy between him and Leon Edwards because of hand surgery.— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) December 12, 2022
Wonderboy says the UFC “want someone to fight in March” and (the UFC) “are looking at Jorge Masvidal” 😳
from YT/ Fred Talks Fighting pic.twitter.com/avHVEEvpGJ
“People are in talks of me fighting Leon Edwards again. I know Kamaru Usman is having hand surgery. I know they (Leon) wanna fight somebody in March and they are looking at Jorge Masvidal,” said Stephen Thompson.
It is certainly concerning news for the fans, as Usman previously dealt with a hand injury as well. The Nigerian Nightmare had hand surgery in February 2022. After that, he fought Leon Edwards at UFC 278 on August 28th earlier this year. So there was a gap of six months between the operation and his fight. So, another surgery does not bode well for his immediate fighting future.
Manager Ali Abdelaziz rubbishes reports of Kamaru Usman having hand surgery
Although the former two-time welterweight title contender Stephen Thompson claims that Kamaru Usman is having surgery, Usman’s manager is denying the reports. Ali Abdelaziz took to Twitter and labeled the story as “Fake news.” So he basically discredits Thompson’s statements and confirms that Usman is fully fit to fight Leon Edwards at UFC 286.
Fake news https://t.co/AbJ5UrPxez— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) December 12, 2022
Although UFC has not announced the bout officially, it is the only fight that makes sense at this point in time to headline the PPV. UFC has UK stars like Paddy Pimblett and Darren Till, but neither is ready to headline a card. While Till lost his third consecutive fight against Dricus du Plessis at UFC 282, Paddy won against Jared Gordon via a very controversial judges’ decision.
On top of that, holding a big PPV card in England without the home champion Leon Edwards would defeat the purpose of traveling to the country. After news of Kamaru’s reported hand surgery, top-ranked UFC welterweight contender Belal Muhammad has also thrown in his name to replace Usman. But, Leon previously stated that he would not mind defending his title against Masvidal in his backyard.
What do you make of the matter? Who do you want to see Leon Edwards fight if Kamaru Usman is indeed having hand surgery? Let us know in the comments down below.
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