Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards Fight Set for Undetermined Date, UFC's Dana White Says

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 31, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: (R-L) Kamaru Usman of Nigeria punches Colby Covington in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 268 event at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Kamaru Usman will defend his welterweight title against Leon Edwards, UFC President Dana White confirmed Tuesday on BT Sport (via Damon Martin of MMA Fighting).

No date is set, however, as Usman recovers from his surgery in February to repair a ligament in his hand. 

"As soon as [Usman] gives us the OK that his hand is ready to go, we'll make that fight," White said Tuesday.

Usman's manager Ali Abdelaziz initially targeted a July return after the surgery, per ESPN's Marc Raimondi

ESPN's Porter Larsen speculated the two could battle on Aug. 20, which would be UFC 278, but the sides are still in negotiations.

Usman (20-1) has emerged as one of the best fighters of his era, currently ranked as the best pound-for-pound fighter in UFC. After beating Tyron Woodley for the title in 2019, he has defended the belt five times, including two wins over Jorge Masvidal and two over Colby Covington.

The 35-year-old has not lost since joining the UFC in 2015. Interestingly, he beat Edwards by unanimous decision in December of that year—his second fight in the UFC.

Edwards (19-3) has not lost since, tallying nine more wins to finally earn his first title shot.

"I think Leon is much improved, his grappling is much improved, his wrestling is much improved," Usman said of his rival in March, "but I'm also much improved."

Edwards has not fought since defeating Nate Diaz by unanimous decision in June 2021. He was scheduled to face Masvidal in December, but the opponent withdrew due to an injury.