Hours after Nigerian-born British boxer, Anthony Joshua, lost the opportunity to reclaim his heavyweight titles, Kamaru Usman, another Nigerian, has lost the UFC welterweight championship title.
Britain’s Leon Edwards knocked out Usman to win the title at Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
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Edwards came to life with a come-from-behind, head-kick knockout late in Round 5 of the main event of UFC 278 on Sunday morning.
After becoming the first person to score a takedown on the nearly perfect champion in Round 1, Edwards struggled in the following rounds to build any kind of momentum.
Usman took over the fight with his superior wrestling and slung heavy boxing combinations and seemed on his way to yet another title defense as he neared Anderson Silva’s record for most all time.
Usman’s pace slowed in Round 5, but it was likely leading towards a unanimous decision win for the champ as Edwards seemed defeated in his corner as his team begged him to come to life in the final round.
Suddenly, Edwards flicked out a right jab and fired up a left head kick that knocked Usman out cold at 4:04 of Round 5.
Edwards improved to 20-3 (1 NC) with the win over Usman. His undefeated streak improved to 11. Usman saw his 19-fight winning streak snapped in the blink of an eye and suffered his first loss in nine years.
It was the fourth latest finish in a championship fight, just seconds short of Usman’s own finish of Colby Covington in 2019.
“I feel great. They all said I couldn’t do it, they all said I couldn’t do it. Look at me now.
“It doesn’t matter. From the trenches. I’m built like this. I go until the final bell. Pound-for-pound, head shot, dead,” Edwards said, while reacting to the win.