It is the rematch of the greatest upset of 2022 as Leon Edwards proves to go “Rocky” again versus the former champion, Kamaru Usman. Edwards defends his welterweight title on home soil this time but is still an underdog per the UFC lines. Usman was winning their second fight all the way until Edwards hit the head kick heard around the world. This time, Edwards looks for a more complete showing.
Edwards Will Be Even Better in Trilogy
Despite the UFC betting odds, Edwards should not be much of an underdog here. The new champion has more going his way this time. For one, he is fighting at home and won’t need to travel. The raucous pro-Edwards crowd could influence the judging in a close fight. And more importantly, the fight will not be in elevation like the last time in Salt Lake City.
This means that Edwards will not get worn down as fast as he did in the first fight. Instead, he will be able to keep pace with Usman, making this a much closer fight. There is even a chance Edwards finishes Usman again. It may not be a head kick like before, but Edwards’ complex striking could confound Usman yet again.
Edwards “programmed” Usman to expect a jab, which allowed him to blast his rival with the fight-finishing strike. If the fight stays on its feet, which it may for most of it, Edwards has Usman’s number. But even if the Nigerian tries to make this a wrestling match, the champ is ready.
I want to be clear about something: There was nothing “lucky” about Leon Edwards’ head kick to Usman. He set it up brilliantly by flashing the jab and causing Usman to dip right into it. That’s not luck. That’s technique. He didn’t close his eyes and throw a kick.
— Andreas Hale (@AndreasHale) August 21, 2022
Is Usman Still the Same Fighter?
Usman seems to have taken his knockout loss in a good way. He laughed at all the memes people have made of his unconscious body following UFC 278. Even better: he was the one that asked the UFC to set the trilogy fight in Edwards’s United Kingdom. Usman is not only confident but seems keen on making a statement.
But will that work against him? Usman allegedly wanted to finish Edwards in their last bout, which played into Edwards’s hands (or leg, rather). If Usman “plays” with Edwards on their feet, that is to the champion’s advantage. But Usman wants it to be him making shocking UFC news this time around. You can’t fault the man for trying. That’s what makes him one of the best fighters today.
The question is if Usman can still fight with the same fearlessness when the cage door closes. Edwards may be in his head, especially with the high kick. Usman may elect to turn to his wrestling, and as ready as Edwards is for it, the sportsbook favors the ex-champ for a reason.
Edwards vs Usman 3 Head-to-Head
Edwards is four years Usman’s junior here. In fact, Usman will turn 36 in May. The latter has a two-inch reach advantage and is a switch striker, whereas Edwards is a southpaw.
Edwards vs Usman 3 Fight Information
- Fighters: Edwards (C) (20-3-0) vs Usman (20-2-0)
- Location: O2 Arena, London, England
- Day/Time: Saturday, March 18, 1:00 pm ET
- Edwards vs Usman 3 Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
Edwards vs Usman 3 Betting Lines
Edwards vs Usman 3 Picks and Prediction
Usman originally opened at -210 and has been bet down to -260. Folks betting online think Edwards’s win was a fluke. But there are more advantages for Edwards now, and Usman picking this fight to take place in the U.K. will backfire on him. Thus, make Edwards the UFC pick as an underdog as he cements himself as the best welterweight on the planet.