Leon Edwards shocked the world after he knocked out UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in the final minute of their UFC 278 headlining bout. Edwards becomes the first UFC champ that was born in Jamaica, snapping Usman’s long winning streak.
Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman were locked into battle inside the octagon at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. For much of the fight, The Nigerian Nightmare showed his championship pedigree and was winning the fight across all metrics. However, the fifth and final round of the fight saw Usman absorb a vicious head kick that took down the champion, and a transfer of the title was made.
“It’s more for the people that grew up where I grew up,” Edwards said after the fight. “I know it. I felt it. I felt the pressure. I felt the doubt. I felt people saying it couldn’t be done. I was born with nothing.”
Edwards was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to Birmingham, England at nine. According to a previous ESPN profile, Edwards was involved in petty street crime and said that getting into mixed martial arts corrected his course.
Usman was on a 15-fight win streak, just one win away from Anderson Silva’s win record. Considered the pound-for-pound best fighter in MMA, Usman is very much in the conversation. Usman took the loss in stride and shared his thoughts via Twitter, including congratulating Edwards, whom he defeated back in 2015.
“Champs f$ck up sometimes… but we bounce back and come with vengeance!” read Usman’s first post-fight tweet.
He followed that with, “I am truly overwhelmed by all the support. I am ok, just got caught in the right spot. These things happen. We will learn from them and do what greatness requires.”
Being a true sport, Edwards returned the favor by showing respect for Usman and wishing for a speedy recovery.
“Respect @Usman84kg it was an honour to run it back. Rest up and enjoy time with your family,” Edwards tweeted.
Check out the reactions below.