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Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards, news, press conference, preview, how to watch, start time

UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards and the man he dethroned, Kamaru Usman, have traded barbs at a thrilling press conference ahead of their UFC 286.

The pair first met in 2015, when Usman defeated the Brit in Edwards’ second UFC fight.

After that, Edwards went on a run of 11 unbeaten fights – including most recently his stunning comeback victory to knock out the champion with a fifth-round head kick at UFC 278 last August.

That ended a run of 19-straight wins for Usman (20-2), who appeared well on his way to a second unanimous decision win as the fight entered the final round.

But Edwards received an inspired speech from his coach before his incredible comeback win.

When the two faced off for the first time this week at the UFC 286 press conference, Nigerian Usman took aim at Edwards and his coach for the now-viral speech.

Watch UFC 286: Edwards v Usman 3 LIVE on Main Event available on Kayo & Foxtel, Sunday March 19 from 8am AEDT. ORDER NOW >

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“What’s the excuse for the first fight?” Usman said to Edwards.

The Brit replied: “What’s the excuse for the f*cking head kick you got? The f*ck?”

“I dropped my hands. There’s no excuse,” Usman replied. “Beautiful technique, my hand came down and you landed it.

“What was your excuse for the three rounds before it getting your head beat in? Your coach had to beg you!

“‘Come on Rock! You’re getting bullied, son! You let him bully you in the first fight and you’re letting him bully you again! Don’t let him bully you son! Get your head out of your arse, Rock, he’s bullying you son!’”

“You held me against the cage!” Edwards answered. “I left unscathed, not one f*cking mark on my face. All landed on the gloves, you behave yourself. Behave yourself … That boy is concussed, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”


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Yesterday, Edwards took aim at the outlandish fashion taste of his rival, saying Usman would walk away from the sport should he lose on Sunday.

“It’s a bit too cold over here to be dressing all weird and funky,” said Edwards.

“Our mentalities are in two different places. I feel like he’s on the way out, and I’m going to open that door for him and give him a path to follow his fashion dreams and wherever he wants to go.

“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.”

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But Usman – who has said in the past that he struggled with ‘all the noise’ that comes with being champion – says he is locked in and driven to regain the belt.

Asked about his motivation, he replied: “That’s a good question because it changes.

“When you start to just defend and defend and defend (the belt), it does kind of get lackadaisical, it just gets repetitive.

“This one immediately I found it on the ride to the hospital after [UFC] 278 … I got presented with an opportunity to be able to fall as a champion and rise again.”

He added that every fight is ‘special’ to him – but that he feels like once he wins he will have virtually completed every dream in the sport.

“Honestly, you know, there’s not many more things left for me to do. This one and each and everyone is special,” Usman said. “I would love this one as well, everyone is special so I would love this one as well. The Colby one was special, the Masvidal one was special, this would be special just as well.”

Watch UFC 286: Edwards v Usman 3 LIVE on Main Event available on Kayo & Foxtel, Sunday March 19 from 8am AEDT. ORDER NOW >

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