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Michael Bisping plays matchmaker for Leon Edwards should there be an interim title amid Kamaru Usman's injury hiatus

Leon Edwards (left); Kamaru Usman (center); Michael Bisping (right)
Leon Edwards (left); Kamaru Usman (center); Michael Bisping (right)
Johny Payne

Michael Bisping has addressed Kamaru Usman’s ongoing injury hiatus. Additionally, Bisping proposed an interim UFC welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington to determine who’ll fight Usman for the latter’s UFC welterweight title.

Taking to his YouTube channel, Bisping alluded to the fact that Usman’s recovery from his hand injury has been slower than initially expected. As Usman’s comeback timeline has been pushed from July to September, Bisping believes that Edwards could fight Covington for an interim title before Usman returns.

‘The Count’ acknowledged that top-tier welterweights like Khamzat Chimaev and Belal Muhammad are also worthy of facing Edwards for the interim belt. Regardless, pitting the No. 2-ranked UFC welterweight Edwards against the No. 1-ranked Covington, Bisping stated:

“Fingers crossed; with the right doctors, and with the right care, and he [Usman] takes his time, he might be back by September. Something like that. So, for Leon, it’s a shame because Leon hasn’t had the busiest schedule. But September, it’s not too far away… Four months away; not too bad. Just relax. Take it easy. Work on your wrestling defense or whatever, and then hit camp two months out.”
“But if it is going to be an interim fight, I think Leon Edwards, Colby Covington. Of course, Khamzat would be a popular choice. Khamzat would do massive numbers. Khamzat would call for that. A lot of people would call for that. But Colby Covington is ahead in the rankings.”
Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington gave us a five-round war at #UFC268 🔥All respect after going toe-to-toe for 25 minutes.Sit back and enjoy the highlights from a superb main-event at Madison Square Garden... https://t.co/DhuYyOHkE3

Bisping highlighted that Covington was beaten twice by Usman and failed to capture the undisputed welterweight title, but winning an interim title would earn him a third shot at Usman’s undisputed title.

Covington’s coming off a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272 in March. Meanwhile, Edwards last fought at UFC 263 in June 2021, beating Nate Diaz via unanimous decision.

Watch Bisping discuss Kamaru Usman’s injury, Covington-Edwards, and more in the video below:

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Kamaru Usman on the “next chapter” of his career

Kamaru Usman could likely defend his welterweight title against Leon Edwards at UFC 278 on August 20th or perhaps at an event in September. Usman’s hand is yet to heal fully, which is why the UFC hasn’t officially announced his comeback date yet.

"It means the world to me. It's been long overdue. I'm looking forward to bringing that belt back home!"@Leon_edwardsmma has been ready for his title shot for a good minute and now all roads lead to the UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman! 🏆 https://t.co/LJQKxFRtJA

Speaking to MMA Underground, Usman recently opened up about the next phase of his combat sports career after he retires from active competition. Noting that he’d like to share his knowledge and stay connected with the sport by becoming a commentator, Usman said:

"This is a next chapter because I don't wanna get punched in the face forever. At some point, you have to transition into something else.”

Watch Kamaru Usman's interview below:

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Edited by Avinash Tewari

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