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‘The fight’s on’ — Leon Edwards confirms he will rematch Kamaru Usman in London

“If he thinks he’s going in there and it’s going to be the same fight, he’s in for a rude awakening.”

The much-anticipated trilogy between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman is officially happening at UFC 286, according to Edwards. The UFC has given the rematch the go-ahead, and we’re just waiting for the official word.

“Yeah, 100 percent, that’s what I’ve been told, that’s what my team has been told,” Edwards told Michael Bisping during a recent appearance on Believe You Me (h/t Mike Heck). “I spoke to the UFC last week, I think, and they said, ‘The fight’s on, he’s already training for the fight.’

“I am aiming towards that, and if anything changes in the meantime, we’ll go from there. But now I’m focused on the trilogy with Usman in London.”

Edwards knocked out Usman with a last-minute head kick at UFC 278, securing the welterweight title and cementing his status as one of the greatest fighters in the sport by taking out the then-No.1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

In the trilogy, he expects “a totally different fight” but predicts the outcome will be the same: a decisive knockout.

“I just want to see how he reacts to getting knocked out cold, and see how he reacts traveling to the U.K., seeing how crazy the fans are and just see how he comes back because he’s not getting no younger,” Edwards said. “He’s, what, 35, 36? Maybe older? Let’s see how he comes back.

“It’ll be a totally different fight — I’ve said it, my coaches have said it. I’ve never lost in the U.K., amateur or pro, so I’m excited. I love fighting in front of my friends and my family, and yeah, I think it’s going to be a totally different fight. If he thinks he’s going in there and it’s going to be the same fight, he’s in for a rude awakening.”

UFC 286, which is expected to feature Edwards vs. Usman III as the main event, is scheduled to take place on March 18 at The O2 Arena in London, England.