Leon Edwards Claims Welterweight Championship in Shocking KO

Tyson Gagliano, Reporter

Leon “Rocky” Edwards (20-3) shocked the world Saturday night, knocking out welterweight champ Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman (20-2) in the fifth round at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Edwards, who had all but lost the fight, connected flush with a left roundhouse kick to the head with just under a minute remaining in the fifth round.

Edwards became the first fighter to defeat Usman and the UFC, and snapped his 19-fight win streak.

Entering the fight, Usman was one win shy of tying Anderson Silva’s UFC fight win streak of 16.

Edwards extended his win streak to 11 with the win. His last loss coming from Usman in their first fight in 2015.

The KO will go down as one of the most shocking finishes in UFC history, with Usman dominating the fight and being a minute away from victory before being brutally knocked unconscious.

The bout was the first UFC title fight in history, where both fighters came in with a 10+ fight win streak.

In the co-main event, former middleweight champ Luke Rockhold went toe to toe with Paulo Costa in a bout at 185 that saw Costa earn the unanimous decision victory.

Costa, gets back in the win column following back-to-back losses to Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori.

For Rockhold, this marked his first fight since 2019, and his last fight.

Following the fight, Rockhold announced his retirement, saying “I can’t do this s— anymore.”

The affair won fight of the night honors, with both fighters slugging it out for three rounds, despite the obvious fatigue from both fighters.

Rockhold, was clearly exhausted after the first, but somehow managed to make it to the third where he landed several big shots.

With UFC 278 in the books, there remains a lot of questions on who Edwards will face next.

Many, including UFC president Dana White, hinted at a possible trilogy between Usman and Edwards. “How do you not do a [a trilogy?” White said.

Another potential opponent for Edwards is Khamzat Chimaev (11-0) who fights next month at UFC 279 against Nate Diaz in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Whatever the case may be, Jamaica now has its first ever UFC champion.


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