Kamaru Usman gets chance to win back title and pride as he faces Edwards on Saturday
Usman, a 35-year-old who fights out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., won a unanimous decision when both were UFC newcomers in 2015
A rematch of a bout that featured one of the most incredible finishes in UFC history headlines UFC 286 on Saturday in London.
England's Leon Edwards (20-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) will have the home-crowd advantage at 02 Arena when he faces Nigeria's Kamaru Usman (20-2, 15-1) in the evening's main event in a UFC welterweight title matchup.
That has contributed to Edwards being a popular underdog, drawing 60 percent of the total fight bets and 67 percent of the handle at +200. Usman, who has held steady as the -250 favorite, has been backed by 40 and 33 percent, respectively.
Usman, a 35-year-old who fights out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., won a unanimous decision when both were UFC newcomers in 2015.
In their UFC 278 rematch, Usman was cruising in his title defense before Edwards stunned the MMA world by knocking Usman cold with a perfect head kick in the final minute of the fifth round to claim the title via knockout.
Both competitors have experienced sterling UFC careers. For Edwards, 31, the 2015 loss to Usman was his last. He has won 10 straight since, with one no-contest thrown in. Usman's defeat at UFC 278 was his first in 16 UFC fights.
Saturday's bout should answer two big questions: 1. Was the head kick a fluke? 2. How will Usman respond after being so brutally knocked out for the first time in his career?
"He was winning the fight, but who cares?" Edwards said at media day. "It goes down as you go out cold, head shot and that's all that matters. When it's all said and done, winners win, and even on my worst day, my worst performance, I still knock you out."