Kamaru Usman suffered the first knockout loss of his career at UFC 278 last month. In the fifth round of the title fight, Leon Edwards landed a picture-perfect head kick that knocked Usman unconscious.
Despite the setback, Usman appears to be handling the loss well. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ shared memes of his fight with ‘Rocky’ and joked about it on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
However, Edwards finds it a bit “weird” that Usman is handling his loss that way. In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani for BT Sport, ‘Rocky’ said:
“It’s weird, right? Because, to go from that cocky guy to now, ‘I’m happy to get knocked out and it’s a relief’, I just don’t believe it. For me, I hope, like I said, I never get to a stage where I [lose and] I’m happy for a loss, you know? It’s weird. The way he’s handling it is the only way he could handle it, right? He couldn’t come out and be like salty… So, we’ll see.”
Before the knockout loss, Usman was running through his competition in the welterweight division. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ had successfully defended his belt five times before running it back with Leon Edwards.
Considering the body of work Usman has completed in the UFC, it is expected that he will get an immediate rematch for the welterweight gold.
Leon Edwards’ coach weighs in on the possibility of a third fight between ‘Rocky’ and Kamaru Usman
Leon Edwards’ coach Dave Lovell recently spoke about a potential trilogy fight between the new welterweight champion and Kamaru Usman.
During an appearance on The MMA Hour, Lovell said that although he would be okay with a third encounter between the two welterweights, things might not necessarilty turn out that way.
The coach noted that conversations could happen behind closed doors that might result in someone like Khamzat Chimaev getting the next title shot.
“If that’s the script, so be it. But you never know how these things work. There’s a lot of wheeling and dealing behind closed doors. We’re in a dirty game, and you’ve got to know to play your cards and keep them tight to your chest. You know, I know, they’re grearing up this Khamzat [Chimaev] guy – he’s their next cash cow, and they’re fast-tracking him. So listen, it’s not a foregone conclusion that we’re going to get Usman.”
Chimaev is set to face Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 279 this weekend. A victory over the Stockton native could put ‘Borz’ next in line for a shot at UFC gold.
You can watch the full Leon Edwards interview below: