Michael Bisping backs Leon Edwards to beat Nate Diaz and calls him ‘the toughest fight for Kamaru Usman’ -suggesting ‘Rocky’ could become next British UFC champion

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Michael Bisping backs Leon Edwards to beat Nate Diaz and calls him ‘the toughest fight for Kamaru Usman’ -suggesting ‘Rocky’ could become next British UFC champion


Michael Bisping is adamant Leon Edwards will BEAT Nate Diaz – and then present Kamaru Usman with the most difficult challenge he has faced as UFC welterweight champion thus far.

‘Rocky’ returns to the Octagon this Saturday at UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona and is hoping to add a statement name to his CV after an impressive run in the 170lbs division.

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Bisping has backed Edwards to challenge Usman

Edwards’s last defeat came in 2015 against Usman, yet despite remaining undefeated in nine fights since then, he is still clamouring for a title shot.

The Jamaica-born technician, who fights out of Birmingham, did not fight for almost two years as he waited for the perfect opportunity – only to have his comeback fight against Belal Muhammad scuppered by an accidental eye poke.

Victory against the legendary Diaz on Saturday night would not only hold tremendous gravitas professionally, but would also grant Edwards the star power he needs to assist his title demands.

And with Usman firmly in the 29-year-old’s sights, former middleweight champion Bisping believes Edwards can take a huge step towards replacing him as the last British UFC champion.

Diaz (pictured with actor Charlie Hunnam) is a UFC legend and has a name which transcends MMA

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Diaz (pictured with actor Charlie Hunnam) is a UFC legend and has a name which transcends MMA

Bisping shocked the world at UFC 199 when he knocked out Luke Rockhold, making him the first and so far only British UFC champion

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Bisping shocked the world at UFC 199 when he knocked out Luke Rockhold, making him the first and so far only British UFC champion

“I think 100% that Leon Edwards has to fight him next,” he told talkSPORT.com.

“He’s on a tear, he is on a roll, he is beating everybody and you cannot deny the man any longer. From a business perspective he is not the biggest star, but now he is going to beat Nate Diaz, so that box is ticked as well.

“Of course, Kamaru is going to fight Colby, so they will have to let that one take place and then let Kamaru recover.

“So the only problem with that is – you never know – Leon might get a little antsy and want to carry on with the momentum and take another fight. It’s a dangerous scenario because you can always lose, and if you lose, you’re right back to the bottom of the pile.

Usman was the last man to beat Edwards in the Octagon, way back in 2015

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Usman was the last man to beat Edwards in the Octagon, way back in 2015

The ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ edged the fight in Orlando with a typically assured display

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The ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ edged the fight in Orlando with a typically assured display

“So if I was Leon, when I beat Nate Diaz, I’d wait on the sidelines to fight Kamaru Usman and he is very capable.

“I think Leon is the toughest fight in the welterweight division for Kamaru Usman. The only problem for Leon is that Kamaru is so good.

“That’s not a knock against Leon; I’m not saying Leon is not good enough to beat him, I’m just saying that Kamaru is bloody good and he is getting better!

Look what he just did to [Jorge] Masvidal – his striking is catching up with his wrestling. So while Leon is continuing to get better all the time and continues to put on these spectacular performances, so is Kamaru Usman.

Usman knocked out Masvidal to retain his welterweight title at UFC 261

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Usman knocked out Masvidal to retain his welterweight title at UFC 261

“So I can’t sit here and say that he will beat Kamaru Usman, but it would be a very, very competitive fight and you never know.

“I’m proud that I was the first and only British champ, but it’s not going to stay that way!”

BT Sport 1 will show UFC 263: Adesanya v Vettori 2 exclusively live on Saturday 12th June with coverage of the main card featuring Leon Edwards v Natie Diaz from 3am. For more info go to bt.com/sport/ufc





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