light heavyweight? boxing?… Usman shouts a TKO on Edwards high kick

The UFC’s longest winning streak is natural. He also shouted loudly that he would sing a champion who jumped two weight classes. At UFC welterweight (77.1 kg), Kamaru Usman (35, USA, Nigerian-born), who had the most powerful atmosphere among UFC champions, could not wake up lying on the floor of the octagon.

At UFC 278 held at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA on the 21st, challenger Leon “Loki” Edwards (30, England) defeated champion Usman with a head kick TKO in round 5, 4:04.

Nigerian UFC fighter Kamaru Usman is knocked out by Jamaica’s Leon Edwards during the welterweight championship fight at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City, on February 20, 2008. AP Yonhap News

Even before the match, Usman was confident of victory. Usman, who was on a 15-game winning streak before the fight, had only one win left in the 16-game tie set by middleweight legend Anderson Silva. Here, Edwards was a fighter who had already lost once to Usman. Usman won by unanimous decision in the third round at UFC on FOX in December 2015. At the time, Usman tied Edwards tightly with wrestling.

Even before the match, Usman’s gaze was already higher. As if Edwards didn’t care, he was confident that he would “take the light heavyweight championship belt”. The light heavyweight division is a stage for athletes under 93.0 kg. Usman, who was fighting against a welterweight fighter with a weight limit of 77.1 kg, meant that he would go beyond the next middleweight (83.9 kg) and conquer the light heavyweight division. He also ventured into boxing. He called by the name of Canelo Alvarez (32, Mexico) and demanded that he fight in the ring, not in the octagon.

I was just overflowing with confidence. Usman had no rivals. He defeated all of the strongest fighters at welterweight. Damien Maia and Rafael dos Anjos, as well as Tyron Woodley, who gave Dong-Hyun Kim a disastrous defeat, were also caught by unanimous decision. Not only did he knock Gilbert Burns down by TKO, but he also defeated Kobe Colvington and Jorge Masvidal twice, reaching a point where he could not find an opponent in the same weight class except Hamzat Chimaev (28, Sweden).

Edwards, who was pointed out as the opponent, was uncomfortable. He suffered one defeat, but was offended by the remarks that Usman didn’t seem to care about. Edwards warned, “Usman is only talking about things that have nothing to do with the game.

Jamaican UFC fighter Leon Edwards celebrates winning the world welterweight title after defeating Nigerian UFC fighter Kamaru Usman during the UFC 278 mixed martial arts title fight in Salt Lake City, on February 20, 2019. AP Yonhap News

Usman and Edwards finally put on open finger gloves. An abnormality was found in the first round. Edwards successfully took down Usman. Edwards won the points by catching from the upper position to the back position.

But from the second round, Usman started to dominate. Mixing the jab and kick didn’t keep Edwards out of the way. Edwards waged a clinch fight, but it was already the flow that Usman had expected. Already exhausted, Edwards was busy catching Usman’s attack on the floor in the third round, and in the fourth round of wrestling, Edwards didn’t impress.

Judging by the verdict, it seemed that Usman had a high chance of winning. There was no answer other than KO. In the fifth round, Usman also drove Edwards. With less than a minute left, the game was interrupted for a while by an Edwards kick hitting Usman’s trunk, but the two players immediately touched the glove as if it wasn’t a serious injury. A dramatic scene emerged in an atmosphere that seemed to end the match as it was. In a standing position, Edwards extended his left straight, and only Uss avoided the fist with his left. In an instant, a head kick from Edwards’ left foot landed in his right chin. Usman sat still, and Edwards raised his arms without pounding as if convinced of victory.

After the game, Edwards, who wrapped the belt, shouted, “I said no, but I did.” “Look at this.” The scene, where Usman had expected victory, became quiet, and some fans booed.

Jamaican UFC fighter Leon Edwards celebrates winning the world welterweight title after defeating Nigerian UFC fighter Kamaru Usman during the UFC 278 mixed martial arts title fight in Salt Lake City, on February 20, 2019. AP Yonhap News

Edwards, who lost his UFC debut in April 2014, was eventually crowned the UFC welterweight champion. With this, Edwards recorded a record of 20 wins and 3 losses in mixed martial arts. Of the 3 losses, 2 losses are judged, and 1 loss is a knee kick decision loss.

Usman tasted bitter for the first time since May 2013. This loss is the first since his UFC debut in July 2015. Usman, who had a record of 20 wins and 2 losses, was able to record one loss by decision and one by KO.

By Jung Pil-jae, staff reporter [email protected]

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