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Kamaru Usman punches Leon Edwards in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Amway Center on December 19, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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What Has Happened Since Usman vs Edwards 1? | UFC 278

It's Been A Wild Ride Since Their Original 2015 Meeting. Follow Their Paths Back To The Welterweight Title At UFC 278.

It’s been almost seven years since Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards fought on the prelims of UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs Cowboy 2, and plenty has changed for both fighters.

After defeating Edwards by unanimous decision, Usman ran through the welterweight division, taking the championship belt from Tyron Woodley. From there, nothing has stood in Usman’s way as he’s extended his UFC winning streak to 15 straight (19 overall) with five successful defenses of his title.

Order UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 | Prelims Air Live On ABC & ESPN!

During that streak, Usman defeated bitter rival Colby Covington twice, Jorge Masvidal twice, Gilbert Burns, Rafael Dos Anjos, Demian Maia, and Sean Strickland.

What “The Nigerian Nightmare” has accomplished is nothing less than remarkable, and adding another victory over Edwards would show that Usman truly stands alone at the top of the welterweight mountain.

A victory would also tie Usman with all-time great Anderson Silva for the longest win streak in UFC history (16) and put him firmly in control of the third most wins in UFC welterweight history (only Neil Magny and Donald Cerrone have more).

Fight By Fight Preview | UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2

On the other side of the UFC 278 Octagon, Edwards hasn’t lost since facing Usman in December of 2015. He’s racked up win after win and put himself back into title contention with impressive victories along the way.

The 10-fight UFC unbeaten streak at welterweight posted by Birmingham’s finest only trails that of Usman, and is proof that this is the right time for the two men to meet again.

Main Event Preview | UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2
Main Event Preview | UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2
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There were moments that tested Edwards’ patience along the way though. Fight cancelations, injuries, and the COVID-19 pandemic prevented Edwards from participating in some marquee matchups that could have earned him this title shot earlier.

But “Rocky” remained confident that he wouldn’t be denied a title shot, even after an unfortunate eye poke resulted in a no contest with fellow contender Belal Muhammad. And finally, Edwards has his chance at settling the score with Usman, this time with the welterweight title on the line.

With the highly anticipated rematch years in the making, both men are excited for the challenge and looking forward to making a major statement.

MORE UFC 278: Kamaru Usman Feature | Leon Edwards Feature | DraftKings Sportsbook | Fantasy Stats | Luke Rockhold Feature | Rankings Report

Usman on the rematch: “I expect Leon to come with his best gameplan and the best version of himself and I will do the same,” Usman told UFC.com. “If he did his homework, Salt Lake City might be in for a treat.”

Edwards on the rematch: “This is a totally different fight from what it was the first fight. If either of us approach it as we did back then, we will lose,” Edwards told UFC.com. “He’s a new guy, I’m a new guy and I’m going to go out there and figure him out.”

Interesting stats since Usman vs Edwards 1:

  • There have been 3,256 UFC fights, including the remainder of the UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs Cerrone card that Usman and Edwards first appeared on together.
     
  • There have been 37 first-time champions, both undisputed and interim.
     
  • There have been 130 championship fights.
     
  • Usman has scored 10 knockdowns since they first fought. Edwards has scored two.
     
  • Usman has had one submission attempt since they first fought. Edwards has committed to five.

Order UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2

UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 took place live from the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 20, 2022. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses- and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass