- Leon Edwards made a shocking admission about his title fight win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 278
- “Rocky” is already looking forward to a third fight with “The Nigerian Nightmare”
Newly-crowned UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards was well aware that Kamaru Usman will be a tough challenge. Nevertheless, he was able to dethrone “The Nigerian Nightmare” via a highlight-worthy head-kick in their rematch at UFC 278 when it all seemed like he was already losing.
A bold admission
Reflecting on his historic title win, “Rocky” confessed that it was indeed one of the “worst performances” of his career but he still get the job done.
According to Edwards, he noticed that every fighter before the main event was “getting tired and gassing out” and he felt the same way during the fight. It affected his performance but he managed to “stay focused” and was able to land the head kick “perfectly.”
“I knew it was going to be a tough fight,” Edwards told reporters in his post-fight press conference. “I said it all week. But I believe I was the better man – but even though it was one my worst performances, it is what it is, I got a clean finish. … My body just wasn’t reacting the way it was meant to react. I don’t know if it was the altitude or not, but when I was backstage watching the other guys fight on TV, everyone was getting tired and gassing out. I was like, ‘Why is everyone getting tired?’ When I went out there after the first round I felt it. My body just wasn’t reacting.”
“It wasn’t a cardio issue, it was just like my body wasn’t reacting,” he added. “But I stayed focused, my coaches spurred me on and kept reminding me, ‘You’re still in the fight, you are the best, and fight until the end.’ That combination I was drilling with my coaches, that left-cross head kick, and it landed perfectly.”
The champ expects a rematch
Like the most of us, Edwards too is expecting a rubber match with “The Nigerian Nightmare.”
“I knew going into it that more than likely we were going to have a rematch down the line,” Edwards said. “Whether it’s next or down the line, we’re going to have a rematch.”
An emotional night
Moments after being hailed new welterweight king, Edwards called her mom and was reduced to tears while speaking with her via video call. Fortunately, he media was able to capture the emotional and epic moment.
“I told you, mom,” Edwards said while breaking down and showing his belt to her mom.
— UFC (@ufc) August 21, 2022
As beautiful as it is, Edwards’ road to UFC gold was no walk in the park. After losing to Usman in 2015 via decision, “Rocky” worked on his game and impressively won nine of his next 10 fights, including notable wins over Nate Diaz, Peter Sobotta and Albert Tumenov.
With the new champ keen on a trilogy fight, and Usman vowing to bounce back stronger, let’s wait and see how things will play out.