Kamari Usman lost his Welterweight title at UFC 278 in August against Leon Edwards, which was a huge shock after Usman controlled a majority of the fight and Edwards managed a knockout in round five.
Usman is widely known to be one of the most powerful strikers in the UFC, he often controls fights, wearing his opponent down so they are weaker, and he can pick off in the closing rounds or win via a points decision. His stunning performances over the years have made him one of the UFC’s most highly regarded fighters, and he is a huge player in the sport’s constant growth.
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Usman’s most recent fight damaged his high-flying reputation significantly, he was taken by surprise deep into the fifth round of his title defense while seemingly being in complete control. Edwards provided a shock delivered by a strong kick from his left leg that knocked the Nigerian out, and he was unable to continue. What looked to be a comfortable victory was snatched away in the final moments of the UFC tie.
Leon Edwards continues to get his flowers. Here he is earlier today with the Lord Mayor of Birmingham 🏆 pic.twitter.com/inlUTTfro7
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) November 3, 2022
But Usman has been extremely vocal since the defeat, he believes he is still the greatest UFC Welterweight and is desperate for another rematch, potentially in London, as he has no fear of entering the hostile ground of his opponent’s home nation to regain his belt. In truth, he would likely be the favorite in a potential trilogy against UFC title holder Edwards, as his incredible raw force, and intelligence in the ring is tough to beat. Edwards found the blueprint once but repeating it would again be a hugely surprising feat, and the British fighters’ win could certainly be short-lived and proved to be an anomaly if Usman gets his wish.
Usman’s confidence and mentality are what perhaps makes him one of the strongest fighters in his divisions and could be the potential reason he claims his belt back in a possible fight in the new year. Nothing but victory is ever acceptable for the Nigerian, no matter the quality of his opponent, and he would have been especially hurt by the defeat to Edwards as he was the heavy favorite throughout the contest and never looked in danger until it was too late.
1 year ago today,
Kamaru Usman earned the final victory of his legendary winning streak.
Usman became an all-time great with this streak:
– 19 fight, 8-year winning streak
– Became the UFC Welterweight Champion
– Defended his title 5x
– Fought the best of 170 pic.twitter.com/kiuy3RAe7d
— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) November 7, 2022
Prior to the fight, he was almost seen as unbeatable in the UFC in his current state, nobody could seemingly match his power, patience, and skill in gaining the mental edge over his opponents in narrow fights. Perhaps against Edwards, Usman felt his work was almost done and he let his foot off the gas too early, but you can be sure complacency will not be a factor if they meet again.