This past Saturday, Edwards won the UFC welterweight title with a literal last-minute comeback KO of Usman in the UFC 278 main event. Heading into the final minute of the fight, Usman was ahead 3-1 on the scorecards and cruising to his sixth title defense when a left head kick from Edwards put the now-former champion out cold. It was a shocking comeback and Cormier, who was doing commentary for the event, believes it is both the greatest comeback and the greatest head kick KO in UFC history.
“I can honestly say, and so did my broadcast partners, we all agree, this was the greatest head kick knockout that we’ve seen in the UFC, especially because of the circumstances,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “Leon Edwards was down. He was losing to Kamaru Usman. He was down three rounds to one and he was going to lose the fifth. But he found the perfect head kick to make him the champion...
“We wrote Leon Edwards’ obituary, and I want to apologize for that. But I don’t see anything wrong, because of the way that it was going and what we’ve seen Kamaru Usman has done prior, I felt like Usman was going to cruise to the finish line and retain his championship. Now this changes everything. Usman has to restart his run...
“Keep in mind, Kamaru Usman was up three, four rounds to one. We have to remember that. But just a great night overall, and what I do believe was the greatest [head kick] knockout in UFC [history]. Ronda Rousey-Holly Holm was great, but nothing has matched this. This was the greatest comeback, the single greatest comeback in UFC history, because Leon Edwards snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. He was well on his way to getting beat by Kamaru Usman and he got the job done. So congrats to Leon Edwards and his entire team.”
Edwards’ comeback KO was made all the more impressive because ‘Rocky’ had not finished anyone since 2018 and Usman had never been knocked out before. The two will likely have a trilogy bout next, and Cormier wonders how this outcome will impact that fight.
“For Kamaru Usman, how much did this change? As a guy who has been knocked out before, everything changes once you realize that it’s possible,” Cormier said. “When you have that aura of invincibility, that belief that you cannot be put out clean, you are willing to do a lot of things. Usman went out today for the very first time in his career, and I wonder how that’s going to affect him going forward.
“But if you think about the matchup and how it was going, and you have to bet the third fight, you’ve got to think that Usman’s going to be the favorite, because he was cruising. He was doing a really good job of pressuring Leon Edwards, bullying Leon Edwards — those are Leon’s coaches words — and really making Leon fight on his heels. But it was the moment that he didn’t that back him up is when Leon Edwards found that beautiful high kick. He went right hand, left hand straight. He didn’t throw either of those strikes to connect. He threw them just in order to get Usman’s hands up so that he could land the head kick that ultimately won him the championship. It was perfect.”
A third fight comes later though. For now, Edwards can revel in the fact that he proved his doubters wrong, and has now become only the second British UFC champion in history, and did so in the most dramatic way possible.
“If there’s a guy that you’re going to root for, it’s Leon Edwards,” Cormier said. “He said, ‘I come from nothing, man. My family, we had nothing.’ He’s on the phone with his mom, crying, talking about how their life is going to change. This felt like a movie. The UFC staff played the ‘Rocky’ theme after the fight and during the ‘Rocky’ theme, Leon is on the cage, celebrating with the belt and the crowd is yelling, ‘Rocky! Rocky!’ It was a movie. His cornerman in between rounds was like, ‘Come on, Rock! You’ve got to give yourself a chance!’ I’ve never in my life had this type of emotion, and watching it play out in front of me the way that it did, it’s why we love sports. We love live sports because it’s always unpredictable. “
Results. Leon Edwards pulls off incredible comeback KO to win welterweight title at UFC 278.
Vengeance. Kamaru Usman promises ‘vengeance’ in first statement after losing title at UFC 278.
Class. Jake Paul pokes fun at Kamaru Usman for UFC 278 KO loss, says he’ll fight in October.
Apology. Dana White apologized to Paulo Costa after USADA altercation: ‘That will never happen again to any fighter’.
UFC 278 Post Show.
UFC 278 Press Conference Stream.
Leon Edwards’ moving post-fight speech.
Leon Edwards’ corner work.
Emotional responses from U.K. fans to Leon Edwards’ win.
Israel Adesanya reacts to UFC 278.
A medical explanation of the Edwards KO.
On To The Next One. Matches to make following UFC 278.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Damn I love this sport!!! Things happen but… Alhamdulillah we move!! congratulations @Leon_edwardsmma— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) August 21, 2022
Respect @Usman84kg it was an honour to run it back. Rest up and enjoy time with your family.— Leon 'Rocky' Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) August 21, 2022
I am truly overwhelmed by all the support. I am ok,just got caught in the right spot. These things happen. We will learn from them and do what greatness requires pic.twitter.com/H0S5V6ZawU— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) August 22, 2022
Luke is the biggest player on the MMA . I need to recognize pic.twitter.com/QziT8yVyFZ— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) August 21, 2022
I think same as you . Easy money for you . Go ahead do it https://t.co/65YQ6dltvK— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) August 22, 2022
Who’s the pound for pound now?— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) August 21, 2022
I’ll tell you who. The one who it’s been all along. The one. The only.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) August 21, 2022
Me, motherfuckers. Stay tuned.
Who wants a title fight!!!— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) August 21, 2022
So we’ve got the 170lb Jamaican British Leon. We’ve got the 185lb Nigerian New Zealander, The Stylebender Izzy, and we’ve got the Czech Samurai, Jiří Procházka. Gis a bell I’ll be out at sea for the next what, 40 seconds then I’m back. Quick rip. Call me anytime - Heavy shoulders https://t.co/KyWixYWKQI— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) August 21, 2022
Styles makes fights— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) August 22, 2022
@USMAN84kg is the one who learns on his mistakes, can’t wait for his strong comeback— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) August 21, 2022
If it’s one man who doesn’t deserve kicking when he’s down, it’s Usman. That man is a role model x10. Excellent athlete , great analyst , devoted dad , college educated , etc ! Salute champ . This too soon shall pass @USMAN84kg— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) August 22, 2022
We having a parade in Birmingham when rocky back home or what man?— Jake Hadley (@JakeHadleyMMA) August 21, 2022
Btw the Costa Rockhold fight was a great display of not being able to stick to a gameplan from both sides.— Marvin Vettori (@MarvinVettori) August 21, 2022
Very enjoyable tho.
2 weeks until I put on a masterpiece.
Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.
Is Edwards’ KO of Usman the greatest head kick KO in UFC history?
This poll is closed