British mixed martial artist Leon Edwards believes that Nigerian welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has improved significantly since their fight, as evidenced by the early victories over Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal.
Yet, according to Edwards, in these victories, Usman has acquired overconfidence and will be punished for this during their rematch, if it takes place.
“Yeah, for sure,” Edwards replied when asked by BT Sports’ Adam Catterall if he believes Usman’s improved since the move of training facility (via LowKickMMA). “His (Kamaru Usman) strikings getting better, you know. I think he’s probably fallen in love with his hands now, you know.
Like I said, to go out there and put (Jorge) Masvidal away, Colby (Covington) away, and (Gilbert) Burns away — he’s probably fallen in love with his hands. But I think that’s gonna be his downfall. He’s gonna fall so in love with his striking, but I that’s gonna be his downfall, in the end, you know.“
Edwards certainly does have a point as we have seen several dominant grapplers fall in love with their hands like Ronda Rousey. Yet, Usman’s striking is looking better and better every fight and can strike with the best of them.
Leon Edwards, meanwhile, is set to return to the Octagon at UFC 263 against Nate Diaz. If he wins and does so impressively he likely will earn a title shot and get the rematch against Usman. They first met in 2015 with Usman winning by decision and ever since then the Englishman has wanted to get that fight back.