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Edwards aiming to 'humble' Usman, win title at UFC 278

Josh Hedges / UFC / Getty

Leon Edwards believes welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is too concerned with his own fame ahead of the UFC 278 main event bout.

"I'm going in with the mindset of becoming a champion, it's been a long road for me to get here," Edwards said during the UFC 278 press conference. "I am grabbing it with both hands. I don't care about the roar. My aim is to go out there and provide for my family and become number one."

Usman (20-1) defeated Edwards in their first meeting in 2015 and has since gone on to dominate the welterweight division. He finished Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns, and Jorge Masvidal in three of his most recent five matches.

"Fair play to you, for trying what you're trying, but the fame is definitely getting to your head," said Edwards. "I'm going to humble you after Saturday night."

Usman appeared to enjoy the verbal sparring between the two combatants, rising out of his chair multiple times to the fans' applause and taking a request to show off his dance moves during the event. However, the champion did give Edwards his due when asked whether he will be a threat on Saturday.

"I've always given him his respect," Usman said. "I think he's a good fighter, (a) very, very, very, good fighter. But lately, there seems to be a little disrespect coming from him. Maybe he's thirsty from wanting to be champion so much that he's got to get disrespectful. But it is what it is. He's a tough striker."

Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) has strung together nine victories since his defeat to Usman, scoring wins over Donald Cerrone, Rafael Dos Anjos, and Nate Diaz in his most recent fight.

However, Edwards points out that he's grown leaps and bounds since the last time he stepped in the cage with Usman.

"Skillset-wise, I think he's improved with his boxing. He's not a panicked wrestler now. He's comfortable on his feet. I have watched our fight this camp, but I haven't taken much notice of it. I'm two different fighters than I was seven years ago. I've grown leaps and bounds. Come Saturday night I will show that."

Edwards aiming to 'humble' Usman, win title at UFC 278
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