LEON EDWARDS and Kamaru Usman took part in another heated staredown less than 24 hours before their eagerly-anticipated trilogy fight.
Reigning welterweight champ Edwards will defend his strap against The Nigerian Nightmare tomorrow night in the main event of UFC 286 in London.
Edwards, 31, ended the former pound-for-pound king’s dominant reign at 170lbs with a stunning Haily Mary head-kick KO in the fifth round of their showdown at UFC 278 last August.
The pair were initially respectful of each other in the wake of the historic moment, but that’s since changed.
Both men traded verbal jabs during a heated press conference on Thursday, which was followed up by a tense staredown.
And they had a second one at the O2 Arena on Friday evening at the ceremonial weigh-ins.
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Fans in attendance at the O2 lapped up the tension between the pair.
Usman, 35, had to endure a chorus of boos and chants of ‘headshot dead’ as he took to the scales, although he lapped up the hatred.
Chants of ‘Rocky, Rocky, Rocky’ rang throughout the arena as Edwards tipped the scale for the final pre-fight formality.
And the noise level in the arena reached near hights when the pair tried to get nose-to-nose, although UFC president Dana White stopped them from getting too close.
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Slick southpaw Edwards is brimming with confidence ahead of his first title defence, which he reckons could lead to the end of Usman’s career.
He said: “I think something is out of the door already and I’m going to add to that, just from his mentality and the way he’s moving.
“Whether he retires after or not, that’s up to him.
“I heard he flew a stylist over here, our mentalities are in two different places.
“I feel like he’s on his way out and I’m going to open that door, give him another path to follow his fashion dreams and whatever he wants to do.”
He added: “Going into the fight he thought he could never be taken down, hurt or knocked out.
“I think he has find something to clutch onto, he was winning the fight by who cares. It goes down as him getting knocked out cold.
“That’s all that matters when it’s said and done.
“Even on my worse day and worse performance I still knocked him out, so winners win.”