Morning Report: Kamaru Usman needs ‘finality’ with Leon Edwards, otherwise ‘you’re not better than me’

Kamaru Usman isn’t done with Leon Edwards.

The welterweight title has been one of the more prestigious in MMA history. Held by current and future UFC Hall of Famers such as Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn, Carlos Condit, Robbie Lawler, Pat Miletich, and Georges St-Pierre, Usman is expected to join that list someday with five successful defenses under his belt.

2022 saw the “Nigerian Nightmare’s” reign come to a dramatic end when rematching Leon “Rocky” Edwards. Usman originally scored an early win in his UFC run, beating the Brit via a unanimous decision in December 2015. Primarily dominant once again for roughly 20 of their 25 minutes in the rematch, Edwards only needed the last of those to score the comeback upset head kick knockout. The trilogy saw a supremely confident Edwards defend takedowns aplenty and methodically pick apart his rival en route to a majority decision. Unsurprisingly, Usman hopes to eventually tie the series after falling to 1-2.

“I still felt like like there wasn’t finality to the fight,” Usman told ESPN. “The rest of the world kinda still feels like that but props to him. Right now he has that belt and we have to respect that, but I need finality.

“My thing is I need finality. I need you to show me you are better than me from start to finish. Maybe it’s just me selfishly that I need to feel that. If you can’t show me that, you’re not better than me. I just can’t accept that.”

As Usman continued to defend during his time as champion, it felt for a moment like a retirement was nearing quicker than perhaps anticipated for the 35-year-old. Lifelong knee injuries, in particular, were something Usman openly spoke about, and before falling to Edwards, crossover boxing matches and light heavyweight title pursuits were in mind.

Despite being in what looks like a limbo period until Edwards drops the title, Usman believes a tetralogy is certainly possible for the top-tier 170-pounders on Earth.

“Of course, he did what he needed to do to get the win and he did it, so he’s the champion right now and I respect that,” Usman said. “But I know where I’m at and the level which I still function and where I can. I’m still growing in the sport. As crazy as it is to say, I’m still growing in the sport. So, I’m excited to see what’s next.

“I think Leon needs to definitely keep defending that belt and myself, I’m No. 1 in the world in that division,” Usman said. “I think it’s who’s No. 2? Colby [Covington]. They’re gonna fight and No. 3 is Khamzat [Chimaev]. So, I think a fight with myself and Khamzat, boom. And if he (Edwards) keeps winning, I think that’s the fourth fight, 100 percent.”

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The MMA Hour.

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On To the Next One. MMA Fighting’s Alex K. Lee and Jed Meshew discuss the matches to make after BKFC 41, UFC Vegas 72.



Heal up, Rena!


Fighter life.

Action shots.

Fight Circus, baby.

Robocop returns.


Nice timing, lol.

Don’t know, Cory.

Defense No. 1 looms.





Crystal ball.

Ronnie Lawrence (8-2) vs. Dan Argueta (9-1); UFC Vegas 75, June 17

Brendan Allen (21-5) vs. Bruno Silva (23-8); UFC Jacksonville, June 24

David Onama (10-2) vs. Gabriel Santos (10-1); UFC Jacksonville, June 24

Chris Duncan (10-1) vs. Yanal Ashmouz (7-0); UFC London, July 22

Marc Diakiese (16-6) vs. Joel Alvarez (19-3); UFC London, July 22

Welterweight is so backward with logic right now that it’s hard to tell exactly how many wins Usman would need to get a fourth Edwards fight. Usman sounds like he doesn’t really plan to retire as soon as we may have expected though so who knows?

Thanks for reading!


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