Leon Edwards upset the welterweight apple cart with a stunning, fifth-round knockout victory over Kamaru Usman in the UFC 278 main event last August in Salt Lake City, capturing the 170-pound title while avenging a loss to “The Nigerian Nightmare” from their first meeting at UFC on FOX 17 back in late 2015.
With the score tied one apiece, the promotion is expected to book an immediate rubber match and “Rocky” recently revealed their championship headliner will take place in or around March of 2023, likely at Wembley Arena in London, England, or perhaps a comparable arena in Cardiff, Wales.
“It’s in Wembley,” Edwards said in an interview with Troopz TV (transcribed by Farah Hannoun). “We’re going back to the sites. I’m not going over (to the U.S.) now. I did my job. I went to over to (Usman’s) backyard and took it off him, so now he has to come to my backyard. I’m not going over there again. It’s on my terms now. He has to come over here. They said early next year, March-ish. Early next year over here in the U.K., the stadium show. I think they’re coming to Wembley because it’s probably cold in March. It might be Cardiff.”
The sports books currently have Usman as the -350 betting favorite for their upcoming trilogy against +285 for the underdog Edwards. “The Nigerian Nightmare” was cruising to a sweep on the judges’ scorecards before “Rocky” lived up to his nickname and captured victory from the jaws of inevitable defeat.
Nothing is official at this time but it sounds like Edwards has been given a rough timeline for his first title defense. No doubt a London card would also feature several of the promotion’s other top UK stars like Paddy Pimblett, Darren Till, and Tom Aspinall, assuming they are healthy and willing to fight.