London, U.K. – Defeating one of the best champions in UFC history was a defining moment for welterweight champion Leon Edwards even if former champion Kamaru Usman thinks that “headshot” was the only thing that he had going for him in the first fight.
“I think if you get knocked out like that he has to find something to clutch on to right? He needs to build that confidence back up because going into (UFC 278) he thought he could never be taken down, he could never be hurt or knocked out. He was winning the fight, but who cares. Like I said it goes down as you getting out cold, headshot, you know and that’s all that matters. When it’s all said and done winners win,” Edwards told reporters including Cageside Press at on Wednesday.
“Even on my worst day, my worst performance, I still knocked you out. Winners win, like I said.”
Even with the back-and-forth through the media Edwards (20-3) knows that Usman will be dangerous in the trilogy fight as he tries to get back on the welterweight throne in London.
“Just make it into a mixed martial arts fight. Being back home, using the crowd energy to spur me on, just going out there show out show off. That’s my aim this fight. Show my abilities and just perform to the best of my abilities,” Edwards said.
“Never lost in the U.K. always draw the energies from being around my friends, my family, and (having) a great performance.”
In the second fight at UFC 278 Edwards managed to take Usman down and take his back before running out of time in the round. Edwards did not back down from possibly attempting to take his opponent down again, but maintains he’ll make it a “mixed martial arts fight”.
“I will try and go for a takedown, I will be attacking submissions and also try to knock him out. I know I can do all these things, I’ve done it last fight, so i’ll do more of that,” he said.
Edwards said that taking Usman down didn’t give him confidence more than giving him confirmation that he could take the former champion down.
“I can take him down. Once he hit the mat and I’m on top he hasn’t got much to offer as far as defense-wise. Everyone is good when they’re on top of you. Like I said confirmation I can use going into the third fight,” he said.
The knockout in the second fight still remains as one of the biggest question marks going into the trilogy fight. Will Usman be the same guy he’s always been or did that knockout loss change him as a fighter?
“Who knows. Who knows, that’s the question right? He’s 36-years-old. Been in many tough fights. He thought he could never be beaten then to be sparked like that…that does have a mental thing on you. He pretends like he doesn’t care and he’s happy he got knocked out because pressures as champion are too hard. For me it doesn’t make no sense. (We’ll see) Saturday night whether or not it makes a difference,” he said.
“Best believe I’ll be trying to knock him out again.”
Watch the entire media day scrum with Leon Edwards above. He headlines UFC 286 against the challenger Kamaru Usman in London on Saturday night at The O2 Arena.