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By David Tees on 3/15/2023 4:32 PM

UFC Welterweight Champion Leon Edwards faces former UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman for a third time in the main event of UFC 286.

The champion believes the former champion is nearing retirement and Edwards wants to help Usman leave the sport.

“Our mentalities are in two different places,” Edwards said at Wednesday’s UFC 286 media day (transcript via Farah Hannoun & Abbey Subhan of MMA Junkie). “I feel like he’s on his way out, and I was going to open the door for him – give him another path to follow his fashion dreams and follow wherever he wants to go. I think he’s already got one – something’s out the door and I was going to add to that. Whether he retires after or not, it’s up to him.”

Usman won the first meeting between the two at UFC On Fox 17, while Edwards won the rematch at UFC 278.

It was Edwards who scored a knockout win over Usman at UFC 278 and Edwards says that is all that matters coming out of that bout.

“I know Kamaru – he’s using that as, ‘Oh yeah, he was tired in the fight.’ Whether I was tired or not, you got knocked out – and that’s it,” Edwards said. “So at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Even though I was tired, he couldn’t hurt me. I wasn’t hurt, really – it was more a fatigue issue. He was wailing at my gloves and I was catching it all on my gloves. Even on my worst day, I defeated him. He’s improved from when we’ve first fought, but so have I.”