After years of waiting for his shot at the gold, Leon Edwards will finally get his chance to ascend to the top of the mountain on Saturday night.
He’ll square off against Kamaru Usman in the main event of UFC 278 and even though he’s viewed by many as a considerable underdog, ‘Rocky’ looks as confident as ever heading into the biggest fight of his life.
Birmingham’s finest has fought and lost to the reigning champion before but with seven years to grow and improve, you’d have to imagine this is going to be a very different fight in Salt Lake City.
Edwards is heading into this contest on a 10-fight unbeaten streak whereas Usman has recently knocked off the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Gilbert Burns and Colby Covington. While ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is pretty familiar with the feeling of heading into a rematch, and fighting fairly regularly, Leon’s inactivity had previously left many wondering what kind of shape he’ll be in.
Alas, if this footage is anything to go by, we’d say he’s going to be just fine.
Edwards can be seen throwing his classic elbows, hitting the pad with force, and generally looking as sharp as he ever has.
The potential that the 30-year-old possesses speaks for itself, and it’ll be intriguing to see if we see its full potential in Utah.
The unstoppable force?
If Leon Edwards wants to become just the second British UFC champion, he first has to go through a man on the verge of making history.
Kamaru Usman has successfully defended the welterweight title five times and if he can do so again, he’ll equal Anderson Silva’s record of 16 consecutive victories in the promotion.
He’s talked a great deal about wanting to move up to light heavyweight in the name of trying to become a two-weight champ. Of course, he can’t afford to take his eye off the ball, but it’s worth remembering just how big of a challenge this is going to be for the Brit.