Leon Edwards sends retirement warning to Kamaru Usman ahead of UFC London trilogy


Edwards puts his title on the line at the O2 Arena on Saturday (Picture: Getty)

Leon Edwards believes beating Kamaru Usman at UFC 268 this weekend could mark the end of his rival’s career.

The Birmingham fighter stunned the MMA world with his incredible last-minute knockout against ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ last August to take the welterweight title.

The two meet again in London this weekend in their trilogy bout, with Usman drawing first blood back in 2015.Edwards has not tasted defeat since.

Edwards was trailing 3-1 on the judges’ scorecards before he delivered the devastating head kick that left his opponent unconscious.

Usman turns 36 in May and while he had long been regarded as the best welterweight on the planet, Edwards says another defeat, having lost for the first time in almost a decade last summer, could see him off and bring the curtains down on his UFC story.

‘Our mentalities are in two different places,’ Edwards said at Wednesday’s UFC 286 media day.

‘I feel like he’s on his way out, and I was going to open the door for him – give him another path to follow his fashion dreams and follow wherever he wants to go.

UFC 278: Usman v Edwards 2

A devastating head kick KO’d Usman last August (Picture: Getty)

‘I think he’s already got one – something’s out the door and I was going to add to that. Whether he retires after or not, it’s up to him.’

Having controlled rounds two, three and four last August, Usman has spoken confidently of shutting out the Briton but Edwards went onto provide a telling reminder that all that mattered was how the fight ended.

‘Going into the fight he thought he could never be taken down, hurt or knocked out,” Edwards said.’I think he has find something to clutch onto, he was winning the fight by who cares.

‘It goes down as him getting knocked out cold., that’s all that matters when it’s said and done. Even on my worse day and worse performance I still knocked him out, so winners win.

‘I’ve always been confident in my ability, but our rematch has given me confidence in my ability that I can take him down.

‘Once it hit the mat and I’m on top of him, he hasn’t got much to offer defence-wise. I took his back quickly and there was no resistance, it’s confirmation that I can use going into the third fight and I will.’

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