Edwards (19-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) dethroned Usman (20-2 MMA, 15-1 UFC) with a stunning head-kick knockout in Round 5 at UFC 278. Edwards was losing three rounds to one heading into the final frame, but was able to finish Usman with less than a minute remaining in their fight.
But because Usman was able to take Edwards down repeatedly and control him throughout the fight, Makhachev (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) thinks “The Nigerian Nightmare” merely got caught. Based on the way the fight was going, Makhachev expects Usman to reclaim his belt with ease.
“Edwards (got) lucky because (Usman) beat him all five rounds, almost,” Makhachev told ESPN. “First round, (Edwards took) him down, take his back, but other rounds (Usman) beat him very easy, took him down many times and smashed him there. When they’re going to fight again in rematch, 100 percent I think Kamaru is going to beat him because Edwards have same problem, always with wrestling guys.”
A trilogy bout with Usman is expected to take place for Edwards’ first title defense. Usman recently told TMZ he didn’t want to coast and was looking to finish Edwards, which ultimately cost him.
Makhachev, an elite grappler himself, meets Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title in the main event of UFC 280 on Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi.