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Morning Report: Daniel Cormier calls Leon Edwards’ UFC 278 comeback ‘the greatest head kick knockout that we’ve seen in the UFC’

UFC 278: Usman v Edwards 2
Leon Edwards
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Daniel Cormier believes Leon Edwards’ head kick knockout of Kamaru Usman in their rematch is the greatest head kick KO in UFC history.

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. “


TOP STORIES

Results. Leon Edwards pulls off incredible comeback KO to win welterweight title at UFC 278.

Results. Kayla Harrison punches ticket to the PFL 2022 lightweight finals.

Results. Mike Perry wins majority decision in sudden death over Michael ‘Venom’ Page at BKFC 27.

Vengeance. Kamaru Usman promises ‘vengeance’ in first statement after losing title at UFC 278.

Caught. Dana White: Kamaru Usman ‘fought the perfect fight’ until he got caught by Leon Edwards, trilogy likely next.

Class. Jake Paul pokes fun at Kamaru Usman for UFC 278 KO loss, says he’ll fight in October.

Gross. Paulo Costa: Luke Rockhold rubbing blood on my face at UFC 278 was ‘very disgusting’.

Apology. Dana White apologized to Paulo Costa after USADA altercation: ‘That will never happen again to any fighter’.


VIDEO STEW

UFC 278 Post Show.

UFC 278 Press Conference Stream.

Leon Edwards’ moving post-fight speech.

PFL highlights.

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.


LISTEN UP

On To The Next One. Matches to make following UFC 278.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Respect.

Luke Rockhold.

Paulo Costa.

Reaction.

Fight poster.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tony Ferguson (25-7) vs. Li Jingliang (19-7); UFC 279, Sep. 10.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Is Edwards’ KO of Usman the greatest head kick KO in UFC history?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Yes
    (436 votes)
  • 47%
    No
    (399 votes)
835 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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