During Thursday’s pre-fight press conference, Usman (20-1 MMA, 15-0 UFC) and Edwards (18-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) traded barbs about plenty of things – much of which had nothing to do with this weekend’s fight inside the octagon for the welterweight title.
Edwards has repeatedly accused Usman of becoming too big for his britches as he’s become a more successful and a bigger star in the sport. The champion, however, promises nothing – including his upcoming movie role in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” – has not shifted his focus away from the task at hand.
“Talk is talk,” Usman told reporters, including MMA Junkie. “There’s one thing that got me here, and that’s my work ethic. Success only drives me to work even harder. If they think I’m slipping, it’s going to be a bad night for him.”
Despite Usman’s comments, Edwards stands by his beliefs going into UFC 278, which takes place at Vivint Arena and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN/ABC and ESPN+.
“It’s not personal for me,” Edwards said. “I believe I am No. 1. I’m out to prove it. He’s just now wearing a t-shirt and closing up his t-shirt. It’s all good.”
Usman said he’s not particularly bothered by Edwards’ insinuations, and said it all stems from the challenger wanting what the champion has.
“If you looked like me, you would dress like this too,” Usman said. “It’s just envy. You look like me, you would dress like me too.”
Watch the video above to see all the UFC 278 press conference exchanges between Usman and Edwards.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 278.