Kamaru Usman is gearing up for a violent showdown with Leon Edwards in their trilogy bout at the UFC 286 main event on Saturday, as the former champion looks to regain his welterweight title.
Usman, 35, who outpointed Edwards in 2015, lost the title to the Jamaican-born Briton in August 2022, after dominating the 31-year-old until a head kick knocked him out seconds to the end of the encounter.
The Nigerian-American will take on Edwards at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, and Usman has claimed that he is in a rare, violent mindset heading into the bout.
“I’m going into this fight with a rare mindset,” Usman declared during Wednesday’s media day.
“It’s time for me to get violent. I felt violent going into my match against Sergio Moraes in 2017 because of how I was treated by matchmakers, leading to my first-round knockout of him.
“Then when I fought Colby Covington in 2019, his comments around the world had me feeling so angry that I wanted to be violent and we saw how that fight went [Usman won via fifth- round TKO].
“Even when I had to quarantine and fight Jorge Masvidal in 2021 after Gilbert Burns caught Covid, I still dominated him and that’s when he started making all these excuses which filled me with rage so much that I wanted to be violent in the second fight and you saw what happened [Usman won via second-round KO].
“Now I’m starting to get that same feeling again.”