Islam Makhachev claims ‘lucky’ Leon Edwards will fail to defend title in Kamaru Usman trilogy

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‘Kamaru Usman will 100 percent win the trilogy’: Islam Makhachev claims ‘lucky’ Leon Edwards will NOT defend welterweight title and ‘always has the same problem with wrestlers’

  • Leon Edwards defeated Kamaru Usman by head kick KO in their UFC 278 fight
  • British star was called ‘cheat’ by Chael Sonnen and ‘lucky’ by Islam Makhachev 
  • Makhachev believes Usman will reclaim his belt in trilogy with Edwards 

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Islam Makhachev has called Leon Edwards ‘lucky’ for his sensational head kick KO of Kamaru Usman. 

‘Rocky’ was down on the scorecards and being out-wrestled for the majority of his UFC 278 title shot before producing an iconic moment to win in the last minute. 

Makhachev, who will be competing for the lightweight title against Charles Oliveira next month, thinks the Brit was fortunate. 

Leon Edwards struggled against Kamaru Usman before knocking out the Nigerian Nightmare

Leon Edwards struggled against Kamaru Usman before knocking out the Nigerian Nightmare

Usman was beaten by a savage head kick with less than one minute remaining

Usman was beaten by a savage head kick with less than one minute remaining

Usman was beaten by a savage head kick with less than one minute remaining 

He told ESPN: ‘Edwards [got] lucky because he (Usman) beat him all five rounds, almost. 

‘First round, he (Edwards) take him down, take his back, but other rounds he (Usman) beat him very easy, take him down many times and smashed him there. 

‘When they’re going to fight again in rematch, 100 percent I think Kamaru is going to beat him… Edwards have same problem, always with wrestling guys.’

Edwards spoke about struggling with fatigue and feeling flat at altitude in Salt Lake City. 

So he would perhaps expect more from himself in the wrestling department when the pair square off again. 

Islam Makhachev believes Usman will win the rematch against Edwards in their trilogy

Islam Makhachev believes Usman will win the rematch against Edwards in their trilogy

Islam Makhachev believes Usman will win the rematch against Edwards in their trilogy

It seems as though early 2023 in the UK is the most likely time and location for a third fight between the welterweights, with Dana White actively looking at venues already. 

Makhachev, meanwhile, is preparing for the toughest fight of his career against Oliveira in the middle east. 

He continued: ‘If Charles gonna come to Abu Dhabi in very good shape, it’s gonna be like irons touch together, sparks, you know? 

‘When I touch Charles it’s going to be always sparks — if he come in very good shape.

Edwards is likely to face Usman in the UK when the pair lock horns for the third time

Edwards is likely to face Usman in the UK when the pair lock horns for the third time

Edwards is likely to face Usman in the UK when the pair lock horns for the third time 

‘I’m gonna dominate him or it’s gonna be not an easy fight because this guy champion, this guy have good skills. Grappling skills, striking skills, it’s going to be very good fight. 

‘I’m ready for — doesn’t matter how many rounds it’s gonna be, where it’s gonna be — striking or grappling or wrestling match. I’m gonna be ready everywhere. This is my goal, this is my dream. 

‘That’s why I’m gonna train so hard and I’m gonna come to Abu Dhabi in very good shape.