Croydon — UFC welterweight Leon Edwards says a July date with champ Kamaru Usman has been agreed to, although contracts have yet to be signed.
Edwards appeared in West Croydon on Thursday to help launch a charitable partnership between the promotion and OnSide, which will provide youth mentoring at Youth Zone locations throughout the country. Youth Zone provides low-cost access to sports, arts, and leisure facilities for children and young adults aged 8-19.
Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press, Edwards (19-3, 1NC) confirmed that a July title fight with Usman was the plan.
“It’s tracking on course. It’s not officially signed yet, but we’ve all agreed,” Edwards said, asked about any potential complication from the champ’s recent hand surgery. “I’ve agreed, Usman’s agreed, UFC’s agreed, so now it’s just getting pen to paper and getting it moving.”
Edward’s last loss in the UFC came at the hands of Usman, and as he noted Thursday, “I haven’t lost since, and that was six, seven years ago.”
Getting the opportunity to go back and potentially win the title from the last man to beat him, Edwards continued, “is the icing on the cake. To do it from the UK — MMA is not as big in the UK as it is in the States. To achieve what I’m achieving now from the UK is amazing.”
He also sees a fight between himself and Kamaru Usman in 2022 as a completely new fight in comparison to their first meeting.
“He’s improved loads, so have I. I was only 22-years old, now I’m 30-years old. I’ve learned a lot over that space of time, so has he,” said Edwards. “So it’ll be a totally different fight from what it was back then.”
While he’s got a big fight potentially lined up for summer, Edwards admitted feeling that itch with the UFC returning to London this weekend.
“100%. UFC hasn’t been in the UK for three years I think because of COVID. I was the last scheduled headliner, to be at the O2. My fight got cancelled Sunday before the fight because of COVID, and they haven’t been back since. So I can imagine how the fans are itching to see live events.”
Edwards will be in the building on Saturday, however — cornering one of his teammates.
Watch Thursday’s full media scrum with UFC welterweight Leon Edwards above.