Despite clinching the undisputed UFC welterweight title just four months ago against then-champion, Kamaru Usman, newly minted gold holder, Leon Edwards sits currently as a quite sizeable betting underdog against the Nigerian, ahead of an expected 2023 title trilogy rubber-match.
Headlining UFC 278 back in August of this year in Salt Lake City, Utah, Birmingham native, Edwards managed to secure a stunning fifth round high-kick KO win over champion, Usman, having lost three of the opening four rounds.
Inspired in his corner ahead of the fifth and final frame, Edwards was given a firm talk from coach, Dave Lovell – who urged the British challenger to push the pace in a bid to upset the odds and defeat Usman.
Springing with a stunning left high-kick in the fifth round, Edwards flattened Usman to the Octagon canvas – in an effort which has been heralded as the Knockout of the Year across the sport’s community, Edwards avenged his 2015 decision loss to Usman.
Expected to fight next year in a title trilogy rubber match, despite his rallying high-kick KO win over Usman, defending champion, Edwards currently sits as quite the sizeable betting underdog against the Auchi native – with markets offering him as high as +290 to take bragging rights.
Given his dominance in the earlier rounds prior to his stoppage loss in Utah, Usman sits as a betting favorite to regain his throne, at a favorable -375 betting favorite. https://www.slotozilla.com/uk/online-casinos
With the UFC officially booked to return to the United Kingdom on March 18. next for a UFC 286 pay-per-view event at The O2 Arena, all signs point toward a landing pad for Edward’s third career fight with Usman, however, the promotion have yet to officially confirm the title matchup.
And in recent weeks, reports have suggested and rumblings have emerged detailing how Usman may be dealing with a fresh hand injury, having recent undergone a surgical procedure to address an injury suffered in his rematch win over Colby Covington back in November of last year.
As a result of Usman’s speculated hand injury, paired with the organization’s failure to confirm a third title fight between himself and Edwards, speculation has risen that a trio of either Covington, Khamzat Chimaev, or the faltering Jorge Masvidal could slot in and fight Edwards for welterweight gold in London.
Edwards was previously scheduled to fight both Masvidal, and Chimaev over the last year, however, neither matchup came to fruition – while a fight against Clovis native, Covington has been suggested within the mixed martial arts community for some time.
One-time foe, Belal Muhammad also claimed recently that he would be rematching Edwards for the title in the UK, however, that claim was quickly rebuffed by the champion.
Edwards first fought Muhammad to an eventual official ‘No Contest’ back in March of last year, after a series of eye pokes from the now-champion, left Muhammad unable to continue. Regardless of opponent, Edwards will ride an 11-fight winning streak into his next Octagon appearance.