Leon Edwards: Training partner Jai Herbert praises his 'impressive' fight IQ - exclusive

  • Tom Ward
Leon Edwards, Kamaru Usman, Jai Herbert

Jai Herbert has praised Leon Edwards‘ ‘impressive’ fight IQ ahead of his highly-anticipated rematch against Kamaru Usman.

The pair are set to clash for the second time at UFC 278 on August 20 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Usman, 35, has not fought since November when he retained his welterweight title against Colby Covington, a belt he has now defended a grand total of five times.

The ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ will face Edwards in the main event of this weekend’s pay-per-view show.

ALL THE INFO: UFC 278: Date, Announced Fight Card, Location, Kamaru Usman and more

Edwards has spent time preparing for the rematch with his close friend and training partner Herbert.

The two have been training in Birmingham ahead of UFC 278, which marks Edward’s return to the Octagon, Nate Diaz.

Many observers, including No.9-ranked welterweight Vicente Luque, believe Usman’s wrestling is much better and he will find a way to win again.

Jai Herbert and Leon Edwards
Jai Herbert pictured with Leon Edwards

But Herbert, who recently got back into the win column against Kyle Nelson back in July, thinks that his teammate is one of the best when it comes to putting it all together inside the cage.

Speaking exclusively to GiveMeSport.com, Herbert said: “He’s very good, especially the past two or three years he’s come on immensely.

“It’s not just his overall grappling or striking aspect it’s the way he mixes it all in. Like his defence, the little things he does, he teaches people in classes. His grappling, his striking, his wrestling, it’s just incredible man, it’s incredible.

“I think the most impressive thing about Leon is his fight IQ. That’s definitely up there. But yeah, the guy’s a phenomenal athlete.”

Herbert knows Edwards better than most having first met each other over five years ago.

And he believes he won’t be giving the result of his first fight with Usman a second thought.

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“I don’t think Leon is really thinking about it too much to be honest,” Herbert added.

“They’re two totally different fighters now, especially Leon, I think Leon has definitely improved a lot more than Usman.

“How many fights has he had, ten fights since then, so he’s not going to be thinking he’s beat me before because he’s not that fighter anymore.

“I mean, he’s even said it in interviews I think, he didn’t know how to wrestle then. He didn’t know how to defend takedowns properly or anything back then so he’s just a totally different person now because obviously he can do that. So I don’t believe he’s got any of that on his mind at the minute.”

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