It’s not over until the bell sounds.
Kamaru Usman looked like he was on his way to a 16th straight UFC win and another successful title defense against Leon Edwards. But in the fifth round, Edwards shocked the world in a matter of seconds.
The welterweight challenger landed a vicious left kick to Usman’s head, knocking the champion out before he hit the canvas. With the KO, Edwards now holds the championship belt in his division. After the fight, the 17,000-plus in attendance at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, shouted Edwards’ nickname, “Rocky!”
“I told you it was possible. We can win a belt from the U.K. I told you! Look at me now!” Edwards said during the postfight interview.
For Usman, it was his first loss by knockout of his career. He was up 39-37 on the judges’ scorecards entering the fifth round.
Sports stars like Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, UFC fighter Conor McGregor and more offered their thoughts about the championship bout on social media.
— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) August 21, 2022
An amazing scene to witness! Huge congrats Leon! A real good, solid and dedicated mixed martial artist! The uk’s second only ufc champion! Incredible! Congrats mate! @ParadigmSports
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) August 21, 2022
Most incredible and (at times) unpredictable sport in the world.
Which to me, is what makes it amazing.
Doesn’t matter if there’s 2min left or 2 seconds left in the fight. You never know where that KO can come from. Congratulations @Leon_edwardsmma on making history. #AndNew 👏🏾💪🏾 https://t.co/gDzDg3HKcu
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) August 21, 2022
Man this sport is unpredictable 😭😭😭
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) August 21, 2022
OMG @Leon_edwardsmma 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯
— Ciryl Gane (@ciryl_gane) August 21, 2022
— TJ Dillashaw (@TJDillashaw) August 21, 2022
I’m going to bed WOW #UFC278
— Charles Woodson (@CharlesWoodson) August 21, 2022
Usman Seconds of away from retaining the belt and an INSANE headkick KO from Leon Edwards! WOW! Jamaica 🇯🇲has another UFC champion! I smell a trilogy!! #UFC278
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) August 21, 2022
That’s what so crazy about MMA and combat sports, all it takes is one shot even if you’re losing a fight. Anything can happen until that last bell ring. #UFC278
— Mark Ingram II (@markingramII) August 21, 2022
OMG OMG OMG😱😱😱😱
— RJ (@RjHampton14) August 21, 2022
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) August 21, 2022
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 21, 2022