Usman, Khabib, Jones, GSP, Silva: Nigerian Nightmare looking to tie record at UFC 278

Usman, Khabib, Jones, GSP, Silva: Nigerian Nightmare looking to tie record at UFC 278

Kamaru Usman goes into his welterweight clash with Leon Edwards on Saturday with a title to defend and a chance to write himself into the record books.

Usman is currently on a 15-fight unbeaten streak, the second-longest in UFC history, which has him one behind Anderson Silva’s record of 16.

The Nigerian Nightmare is currently ranked as UFC’s best pound-for-pound fighter, but faces an opponent in Edwards who is desperate to avenge his loss in their previous encounter.

Usman goes into the bout as favourite, however, the Jamaican-born Briton has been improving rapidly and could prove to be a difficult opponent.

Read more: UFC 278: Date, Announced Fight Card, Location, Kamaru Usman and more

Fight fans have been having their say on the weekend’s bout, weighing in with their views on Twitter and Usman has inspired plenty of confidence.

Many were predicting a victory over Edwards to tie the record before going on to claim it outright in his forthcoming bouts.

“Very, very high. I don’t see Usman being stopped anytime soon.”

“History in the making.”

“No doubt he will and pass with a breeze.”

“High…. he’s going to tie Anderson on this and also beat him at it.”

“100% he will surpass Anderson.”

Kamaru Usman
Kamaru Usman at the press conference

However, others have acknowledged the quality of Anderson, noting his recent improvements, and suggesting the gap between the two men has narrowed considerably since their last meeting.

Replying to a tweet which read: “Hope I’m wrong but I don’t think Leon has any chance of winning,” one fan stated: “You are, it’s much closer than you think.”

“I can see Leon causing an upset.”

“It will be his (Usman’s) toughest fight yet.”

Those backing Edwards highlight his striking and his takedown defence as strengths.

Many feel that Usman must attempt to turn the fight into a wrestling match rather than rely on striking.

One fan tweeted: “Leon’s probably his toughest challenge, but I think he’ll wrestle his way to a dub,” while another said: “Got to turn it into a wrestling match. Usman is getting too comfortable with his striking. That could be his downfall.”

This is echoed by another fan who believes Usman will prevail, but only just: “Usman by decision, Leon is no mug but Usman is made of granite. Interesting to see if Usman stands and trades or wrestles like in the first fight.”

Many fans paid tribute to Silva’s quality, highlighting the amount of title defences which contributed to his record. One fan tweeted: “Silva was champion for 14 or 15 of those. Usman will have to fight a lot longer to hit that record.”

Controversially, some fans still claim that Jon Jones’ streak should stand at 22. His win over Daniel Cormier in their rematch was overturned to a No Contest, causing the break in his streak at 13 wins. The decision came after his blood sample tested positive for an anabolic steroid Turinabol.

However, regardless of this, it has to be acknowledged that Usman has shown great longevity and consistency.

If he is successful against the improving Edwards on Saturday, he will have earned his place in UFC history.

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