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Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards 2 - UFC 278

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman aims to maintain his dominance in the 170-pound division when he defends his title in a rematch in the main event of UFC 278 against Leon Edwards. The event will take place on August 20th at Vivant's Arena in Salt Lake City.

Usman and Edwards both have long winning streaks. Usman is on a winning spree with 19 straight wins. He won UFC welterweight title in March 2019 against Tyron Woodley. The win streak includes his five successful title defenses. While Edwards is in fantastic form as his most recent loss came against Usman and since then he is on 9 fight-win streaks.

Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards have met before in the cage when their names were not much popular with the masses. The bout took place in the prelims of UFC: Dos Anjos vs. Cowboy 2 in Florida and judges gave a unanimous decision in favor of Usman. In the first meeting, Kamaru Usman dominated on the ground. Usman finished the bout with an amazing 10 minutes and 50 seconds of control time. Meanwhile, Edwards could only control his opponent on the ground for 40 seconds.

Leon Edwards feels in prime form ahead of UFC 278 and he is not quite sure Usman can say the same. Edwards could have got his title shot much earlier but the Covid-19 breakout put a pause on his progress. Edwards' clash with Tyron Woodley was canceled as the world went into lockdown. He was then unable to leave England when UFC started to bring back things to normal.

His fight against Khamzat Chimaev also got canceled as the Swede couldn’t recover from the viral illness. His return to the cage didn’t go as he expected as he faced Belal Muhammad. The main event ended soon in a no-contest due to an illegal eye poke. In his last fight, he defeated Nate Diaz at UFC 263.

Since putting the gold around his waist, Kamaru Usman has defended his title 2 times each against friends turned foes, Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington, and one time against his teammate Gilbert Burns. The Nigerian outclassed in every title defense with his great striking and ground game skills. Usman is out of action since his massive win against Covington in November 2021. The champion underwent hand surgery for a tendon issue that required additional time to heal up.

The game plan of both fighters will be different than before as both are aware of each other’s capabilities and will try to capitalize on every error. What spells danger for the challenger is that Usman's striking is more effective than when they last fought seven years ago, and his wrestling ability is just as good.


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