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The main event comes in the Welterweight division, as Champion Kamaru Usman looks to successfully defend his title for the sixth time against challenger Leon Edwards. A winner of nineteen straight, with fifteen coming inside the octagon, Usman has established himself as arguably the pound-for-pound king in mixed martial arts. Having taken out several formidable challengers, including Colby Covington twice, Usman is closing in on records and legacy status of being denoted as the greatest of all-time. Meanwhile, Edwards comes into this fight unbeaten in his last ten fights. The last loss Edwards suffered was against no other than Usman, when they first encountered each other back in 2015. Evolving since then into an elite Welterweight, Edwards has gone above and beyond to garner this well earned title shot.
Excited to see how this chess match plays out, I’m siding with Usman. Having been a believer in the Nigerian Nightmare since early in his career, I was certain he would become a Champion. While I did notably pick against the welterweight kingpin against Tyron Woodley and in the first Colby Covington fight, Usman clearly has even exceeded my expectations. A well rounded fighter, who’s wrestling can only be matched by Covington, Usman has more or less elected to strike lately. With a lightning quick jab, precision and power, Usman has turned himself into one of the most feared strikers. In other words, he’s the complete package. As of Edwards, he too is well rounded. Boasting a technical striking game, which is built off precision, Edwards looks to piece up opponents on the feet. An opportune wrestler too, Edwards has landed a takedown in eight of his last ten fights – with one of the fights he didn’t land a takedown being in a shortened fight due to an accidental eye poke against Belal Muhammad.
As for why I have Usman winning, he is simply better everywhere. With exceptional wrestling and having never been taken down, Usman neutralizes a part of Edwards game. On the feet, Usman carries more power, is more active and his jab alone can cause havoc. Obviously a nightmare matchup for anyone, it’s hard to see a challenger other than Colby Covington that can defeat Usman. That’s no knock on Edwards, who is exceptionally talent, but the reality of the situation in my opinion. With that said, I believe Usman will eventually find the mark at some point in the fight and finish Edwards via TKO.