Kamaru Usman (left) and Leon Edwards (right) ahead of UFC 278

"How bad does that break you on the inside as a man?" - Kamaru Usman reacts to Leon Edwards claiming his wait will work against 'The Nigerian Nightmare' at UFC 278

Kamaru Usman will look to defend his welterweight belt for the sixth time at UFC 278. He will face No.2-ranked welterweight Leon Edwards, whom he previously defeated nearly seven years ago.

In the lead-up to the fight, the No.1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC responded to comments by Edwards that implied he may not be the same fighter.

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In the time since their last matchup, both fighters have evolved. Leon Edwards has not lost since, while Kamaru Usman has become one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. Usman will enter UFC 278 on a 19-fight win-streak. 'The Nigerian Nightmare' is currently 15-0 in the UFC.

While speaking with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Usman was asked about comments that Edwards made regarding him taking punishment and possibly not being the same fighter. The 36-year-old responded by stating (starting at the 10:00 mark):

"No, it's great, I'm glad he thinks that. Anyone who's ever been an athlete, we know that practice is practice. No one gives a s**t what you can do in practice. If you're not out there doing it against the best in the world time and time again, then how do you know where your level really is?"

Usman continued to touch on Edwards' comments:

"I'm glad he got that time off. I'm glad he's healed up, he's strong. The one thing about that though is he has to be careful because you feel that and that's gassing you up. You feel jazzed up about that, but what happens when this guy that's been in wars, that has taken 'punishment' as you said, comes out and dominates you again? How do you feel about that and how bad does that break you on the inside as a man?"

Watch Kamaru Usman's full appearance on Yahoo! Sports below:

Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards both confident ahead of UFC 278


Kamaru Usman will enter UFC 278 seemingly more confident than ever. He has even compared his competitive spirit to the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, two of the most competitive athletes ever, regardless of sport. Usman is on top of his game with a chance to make UFC history.

What are the chances of Usman tying Anderson Silva this weekend?

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Leon Edwards enters the matchup believing that he is catching his opponent at the perfect time in both of their careers. Despite his previous loss to the Nigerian-born American, 'Rocky' believes that Usman's body is breaking down and that he can take advantage of that.

Regardless of the outcome, history will be made at UFC 278. Usman will have the opportunity to tie Anderson Silva's UFC record for consecutive wins. Edwards, on the other hand, will have a chance to become the first Jamaican-born UFC champion.

Edited by
David Andrew
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