UFC 278: Pre-Fight Press Conference
At UFC 278 this weekend, Leon Edwards has a chance to make history.
Many great fighters have come and gone from England over the years, but a few have left enduring legacies thanks to their entertaining personalities and fighting styles. Michael “The Count” Bisping, who retired in November 2017 and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, was arguably the most well-liked of the group.
In June 2016, after winning the middleweight title, Bisping became the first person from his nation to hold a UFC gold medal. At UFC 278 Edwards will have the chance to not only exact revenge on Kamaru Usman by handing him his first UFC defeat, but also to become only the second British champion in promotional history.
While Usman has lived up to his “Nigerian Nightmare” moniker with five straight title defenses and 15 straight victories in the UFC, many feel that Edwards, at 170 pounds, has what it takes to be the great equalizer.
Micheal Bisping on UFC 278
As Bisping stated on his YouTube channel, “It’s a tough fight for both men, and I’m really torn.” “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 been unbeaten recently; his most recent defeat came at the hands of the reigning champion in their first meeting in December 2015. Since then, Edwards has gone 9-0 (1 no-contest) and significantly improved himself.
Usman has already engaged in two rematches with opponents like Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal during his reign. The former, in which Covington consistently earned victories on the judges’ scorecards, has unquestionably been Usman’s toughest test to date in each matchup.
The fact that Covington, a relentless wrestler at heart, was successful with his striking against Usman, in Bisping’s opinion, provides Edwards with the opportunity to develop into “and new.”
A tough fight for both men
“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.”
My Thoughts on the Fight
My main concern with Edwards’ chances against Usman is how that Nate Diaz fight ended. Because if Diaz hurts Edwards on the feet, that’s serious trouble against someone like Usman. And particularly over the course of 25 minutes, given that Edwards hasn’t exactly been a strong finisher during his recent winning streak. Despite everything, the fight is incredibly fascinating. Really, all that matters is that “Rocky” is given the opportunity.
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Have a good day ahead 🙂