Leon Edwards will never forget the feeling of gold around his waist and a win that may be etched in the history books as the best combat sports underdog story ever following a miraculous return to knock out Kamaru Usman in the UFC 278 main event.
Edwards uncorked a fantastic head kick that utterly devastated Usman and sent him flying to the canvas in a heap heading into the fourth round. As referee Herb Dean stepped in to halt the fight, Edwards began to cry as he accomplished his ambition of becoming UFC champion.
The official stoppage came at 4:04 in the fifth round, with Edwards claiming the title in one of the sport’s most memorable moments. “You all said I couldn’t do it. Look at me now! Headshot, dead. That’s it,” Edwards said afterward. “It doesn’t matter from the trenches. I’m built like this. I go until the bell’s done. Look at me now. I told you I could do it. Pound-for-pound, what? The belt belongs to nobody!”
The finish was impressive, but more importantly, Edwards demonstrated perseverance after starting strong but fading as the battle progressed into the later rounds.
Edwards managed to overturn Usman’s early takedown before becoming the first person in UFC history to knock “The Nigerian Nightmare” out. Edwards soon advanced to take the back and look for the rear naked choke, but Usman survived to finish the round. Usman’s aggressiveness was fueled by the difficult start, as he came out guns blazing, putting pressure on Edwards and swinging big blows to the head and body. Edwards replied with several solid punches, but Usman was landing with the harsher attacks.
Usman secured his first takedown after some brutal treatment against the cage, as he began peppering Edwards with punches to the body and wearing down his conditioning. Usman appeared to be in perfect control by the time the fight entered the fifth and final round, but Edwards’ coaches urged him to leave everything in the cage and risk everything.
That’s precisely what happened when Usman chose to stand and trade with Edwards in the final stages of the fight. Edwards delivered a concussive kick after landing a straight punch that forced Usman to duck his head.
Usman was knocked flat on his back as soon as his shin touched the bone, and Edwards raised his hands in triumph, becoming the second fighter from the United Kingdom to earn UFC gold (the first was Michael Bisping). “I can’t explain it,” Edwards said. “God is on my side. I felt like this was my moment. They all said I couldn’t come back and do it. Now, look at me now. Champion of the world.”
Merab Dvalishvilli dominated a stagnant Jose Aldo in the card with an aggressive pace that made the king of Rio gassed, as well as the wild, crazy, and entertaining war in the Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold fight. Paulo Costa won a hard-fought three-round decision in the co-main event of UFC 278, as an exhausted Luke Rockhold confirmed his retirement.
The battle was a brawl until the final bell. Still, Costa was continually dishing out more damage round after round, leading to the judges awarding him the victory with all three scorecards reading 30-27 in his favor. As soon as the bout concluded and Bruce Buffer read the decision, Rockhold began removing his gloves, signaling the end of his career.
Rockhold left it all in the cage as he participated in a brutal struggle with Costa, throwing everything and the kitchen sink at each other. “I’m been through so much the last three years,” Rockhold said. “Thank you UFC. I can’t do this s*** anymore. I’m f****** old.”
UFC was wild, but boxing was crazy today when the anticipated rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk in the Jeddah Superdome this morning.
In a rematch on Saturday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Oleksandr Usyk regained his three heavyweight belts with a split-decision victory over Anthony Joshua.
One judge scored the fight 115-113 for Joshua, but that was overturned by scores of 115-113 and 116-112 in favor of Usyk, who defeated Joshua for the second time. Joshua, who entered the ring as champion when the two faced in London in September, fared significantly better in the rematch under new trainer Robert Garcia, but it wasn’t enough.
After the verdict was given, Joshua (24-3, 20 KOs) took the microphone and urged the crowd to yell “Hip-Hip Hooray!” to Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs). Usyk, 35, retained his WBA, WBO, and IBF titles with a second victory against Joshua and is now vying for the undisputed heavyweight title with Tyson Fury, who has the WBC belt.
“I’m sure Tyson Fury isn’t done yet,” Usyk, ESPN’s No. 2 heavyweight and No. 6 pound-for-pound boxer, said. “I’m certain. I’m sure he wants to fight me. I want to go up against him. And I’m not fighting unless I’m facing Tyson Fury.”
The potential Usyk-Fury fight, which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is eyeing for December, is one of the largest in boxing history. Fury said he was retired after defeating Dillian Whyte in April, only to declare a comeback earlier this month.
There you go, fighters, the result of two exciting fights this week!! Comment below and let us know what you think!!! And be sure to purchase your fighting needs at Hawkeye Fightwear!