On Saturday, August 20th, Leon Edwards shocked the world with his fifth-round head kick knockout of former welterweight world champion Kamaru Usman. Entering the bout as the No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ was the significant favorite to retain his world title and add another defense on his way to Anderson Silva‘s still-standing record of 10.
Dominating all, but the first round, Usman appeared to be on his way to another surefire victory. With one minute left in the bout, ‘Rocky’ delivered the head kick heard around the world, immediately dropping Usman and forcing Herb Dean to step in and stop the bout.
Discussing the aftermath of Kamaru Usman’s shocking loss is Will Harris, an award-winning filmmaker, and creator of Anatomy of a Fighter. Harris spoke with Joe Rogan on the UFC commentator’s podcast ‘The Joe Rogan Expereince‘ to give his firsthand account of the night Leon Edwards shocked the world.
“I remember being in the locker room and I put my camera down because I was shooting subtle shots of the screen. You know, you can’t really film the screen. Like, the UFC won’t let you do that for copyright reasons, but just a little bit. I remember it was a minute left. I remember when Herb Dean separated them with two minutes left. I had filmed that and put it in the video that I put out. I put the camera down. I was like, fittin’ to go the bathroom. Soon as I put the camera down, I was just looking at the screen [and] he got head kicked. It was like seeing somebody get shot.
“A moment after the fight, we’re at the house. Kamaru goes to the hospital. Everybody, it’s a f*cking funeral in this f*cking mansion we in. Everybody waiting on Kamaru. Nobody talking, I’m sitting there packing up, getting ready to leave. Kamaru comes in like, ‘What the f*ck is wrong with ya’ll? Bro, I was beating his a**. I’m cool.’ So he’s like, ‘What you doin’?’ to me. He’s like, ‘Where the f*cking camera at? Pull the camera out. Bro, I’m gonna beat his a** when we fight again. I’m cool.’
“For me to see that moment and capture it and be so close to the guy [was] powerful. I don’t think if I was with LeBron [James] and his 50 managers, it’s not the same type of intimate access.”
Will Harris Says that Kamaru Usman Has Already Lost Sponsors Due to UFC 278 Loss
During the conversation, Will Harris spoke about the pressure that had been building for Kamaru Usman. The pressure to catch Anderson Silva’s title defense record. The pressure of being the No. 1 ranked fighter in the world. He also discussed the pressures that ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ experienced outside of the Octagon.
“Well, it’s what Kamaru said on this podcast that went so viral about it was a relief. Because every single day he woke up, it was this streak, this Anderson Silva streak. It was this pound-for-pound number one. The champion, everyone gunning for you. I think me being able to talk to him every day, I see the pressures that he have.
“I see, you know, the people asking him for money and needing him for this and needing him for that. I don’t know if you want me to say this, but even like some of the sponsors are not around no more. It’s just crazy. He’s still the number four pound-for-pound fighter in the world, he was just dominating a fight. Got head kicked, lost in the last minute and now fighters are like, ‘Oh, we got a new champion, let’s go over here.'”