“September Mexican Independence Day, I Will Stop Canelo Alvarez” – Kamaru Usman Confirms Leon Edwards UFC Title Fight

Published 03/03/2022, 3:30 PM EST

UFC welterweight champion and pound-for-pound number 1, Kamaru Usman, is currently rehabilitating from a hand surgery. But being out of action ahead of this weekend’s blockbuster UFC fight didn’t stop him grabbing the limelight.

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In an exclusive interview with TMZ, he not only dropped one, but two bombshells.

“I said it already, 2022 I’m gonna shock the world,” he started off the conversation with these words. And he certainly backed it up with his next couple of statements.

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Detailing his master plan, he said, “July International Fight Week, I’m gonna fight Leon Edwards.” After all but confirming the date of his UFC return within the June 27-July 3 window, he further added, “God willing I get through Leon Edwards; September Mexican Independence Day, I will stop Canelo Alvarez!”

That is a lot to digest indeed!

Dana White backed Leon Edwards for the title shot against Kamaru Usman

Leon Edwards had become the subject of mockery and memes within the MMA community for his percieved inability to get the title push from UFC despite his nine-fight winning streak. A combination of injuries and the global pandemic did not do him any favors.

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However, it seems like the UFC is warming up to the idea of him challenging Kamaru Usman for the welterweight belt. UFC president Dana White had this to say when asked if the English fighter was next in line to challenge for the UFC gold –

“100 percent,” Dana White told Aaron Bronsteter back in January. “That kid’s had a rough run. He deserves it. If you look at it, Colby lost to (Usman) twice, Gilbert lost, Leon’s next. He’s number three.”

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – JULY 20: Leon Edwards of Jamaica is interviewed after defeating Rafael Dos Anjos of Brazil by unanimous decision in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at AT&T Center on July 20, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Edwards was tipped to compete for the belt, had he won his cancelled fight against Jorge Masvidal last year. That raised further question remarks, through no fault of his. However, what had warmed Dana to the idea of Edwards competing for the belt was his apparant willingness to take on Khamzat Chimaev when no one else would step up.

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“We were in a matchmaking meeting on Tuesday and I’m always like, ‘Nobody wants to fight him, nobody wants to fight him,’” White said. “Leon Edwards signed the bout agreement to fight him and I think he was ranked number three at the time. So I wanted to make that clear, publicly. He absolutely wanted to fight him, signed the bout agreement and then Khamzat got COVID and that was the end of that.

Watch Story: Here’s How Kamaru Usman Spent His First $1 Million

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“I’m bringing it up for a reason because I said that and never gave that kid the credit he deserved. He said yes to it, signed the bout agreement, and was ready to roll.”

Finally, Leon Edwards is getting his due as Kamaru Usman laid out his detailed masterplan which includes the Briton.

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Bharat Aggarwal

759 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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