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I’ll take Edwards’ soul, Usman vows ahead trilogy

Kamaru Usman

Former welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, has threatened British fighter Leon Edwards ahead of their highly anticipated trilogy bout at UFC 286 at the 02 Arena in London.

Usman was well on his way to equalling the UFC win streak record (16) set by Anderson Silva as he was 3-1 up on the cards before falling to Edwards last August after the Brit landed a fifth-round head kick for a knockout win and claimed the welterweight title.

Ahead of their main event showdown on Saturday, Usman spoke on The Pivot Podcast.

Edwards has been, understandably excited, and outspoken since his highlight reel-worthy knockout, but Usman has every intention of reminding him what happened during the first 24 minutes of their UFC 278 contest, not to mention his 2015 victory.

“It’s going to be a little bit more difficult this time,” Usman said.

“In his head, he forgot about the four rounds before the kick. He forgot that I was taking his soul, so I have to remind him that I’m someone who took his soul twice.”

Usman recognises that he will need to make some minor adjustments, but for the most part, it’ll be just another day at the office for the Nigerian.

“There are minor adjustments I have to make, but whenever you go into a fight, there’s a lot more going on than what the public can see. There’s a lot that I have to battle through just to make it to the fight.

“I’ve never been in this position, but I know that mentally, nothing has changed for me. This is the same guy that I beat up before. He’s still going to be the same guy. I have to remind him who he is right away. When I fight guys, I fight their heart because I want to break their heart. I want to break their spirit and break their soul.”

Discussing his devastating loss to Edwards in their penultimate matchup, Usman suggested that his dominance inside the Octagon turned fans against him, leading many viewers to watch only with the hopes of seeing him lose.

“When you’re successful, it’s almost like everyone is sitting back waiting for you to lose,” Usman said.

“That’s what I think the knock on Floyd Mayweather was. He was so successful and perfect at his craft that people bought his fights just to watch him lose. Once it happened to me, it was the kick heard around the world.

“The kick was the only weapon he used that worked. It was just a good kick. It was something that I knew that I didn’t do a good job, or I didn’t do as well as I should have to stop it. But it was just a beautiful kick. Hat’s off to him,” the fighter said.

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