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Morning Report: Khabib Nurmagomedov unsure how Kamaru Usman looks after KO loss: ‘A lot of people don’t recover’

UFC 278: Usman v Edwards 2 Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Kamaru Usman is in an unfamiliar position after UFC 278 this past Saturday.

The “Nigerian Nightmare’s” dominant reign of terror over the UFC welterweight division came to a screeching halt in his rematch with Leon Edwards in their main event showdown. After a scare in round one, Usman dug deep like a true champion, firmly securing the next 19 minutes of action in his favor.

Needing a Hail Mary shot to score the upset, Edwards nailed exactly that with a perfect high kick to the dome, rendering Usman unconscious for the first time in his 22-fight career. The loss prevented the 35-year-old from tying Anderson Silva’s promotional record of 16 straight wins along with being only the second loss of his career overall.

As many a champion before Usman also learned the hard way, the time on top is limited ... unless your name is Khabib Nurmagomedov who retired undefeated with a 29-0 record. Having watched the result, “The Eagle” worries it will be tough for his fellow Dominance MMA stablemate to come back the same way fans have grown accustomed to seeing.

“I’m aware that the trilogy is already in the works,” Nurmagomedov told Ушатайка (h/t Mr. MMA Shorts). “I believe he can beat Leon Edwards. But after such a knockout, a lot of people don’t recover. It will be interesting to see. But I would love to see the trilogy. They are 1-1.”

With Usman having defended the title five times and in the fashion he did, along with having that Dec. 2015 victory over Edwards, it seems all too likely that a trilogy bout will be next on tap for the division. UFC President Dana White expressed in the immediate wake of the event his interest in taking the fight to Edwards’ home of England and the possibilities have become endless for the country’s second UFC titleholder.

For Nurmagomedov, he too is no stranger to hype and spotlight similar to Usman’s. Both found themselves atop the UFC’s pound-for-pound list at their heights, tagged with claims of all-time great status with only the latter now tumbling his way down.

If anything, the end of Usman’s title reign acts as yet another stark reminder of how hard it is to not just make it to the top in MMA but to stay on top.

“I watched UFC [278] and honestly, I was surprised. You could even say a little bit upset,” Nurmagomedov said. “I have a good friendship with Kamaru and of course, it was hard to watch as the best fighter in the world — who he is right now — get knocked out severely with 50 seconds remaining in the bout.

“I was thinking that this is essentially how the contest will finish just like he did to everyone else. But these fights are MMA and you can see by yourself, for a second, it all went wrong. Put his hand in the wrong place, your lights could go out if the proper defense is not in place. You can wake up in the locker room and it’s over.”


TOP STORIES

Crazy. Leon Edwards says body ‘just shut down’ at UFC 278, credits coaches for comeback: ‘They knew how to press my buttons’

Legend. Merab Dvalishvili says Jose Aldo retired after loss at UFC 278: He said, ‘I guess I’m done.’

Odds. Kamaru Usman opens as massive favorite in potential trilogy against Leon Edwards

Contract. Paulo Costa confirms he has one fight left in UFC deal, re-signing or not ‘depends on the money’

Football. Dana White reveals he orchestrated deal to bring Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to Las Vegas Raiders but Jon Gruden ‘blew’ it


VIDEO STEW

The MMA Hour.

UFC 279 trailer.

Emotional Bellator moments.

Mikuru Asakura prepares for Floyd Mayweather.

The future of Merab Dvalishvili.

Reactions to the win.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Welcome.

Styling in SLC.

Yin-yang.

Mama Cupcake.

Okay, Dustin.

That it is.

Truer words...

Oh.

Sure is.

The glory.

Mulan will be back.

Just gym stuff.

Kings.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Jake Hadley (8-1) vs. Carlos Candelario (8-1); UFC Fight Night, Nov. 5


FINAL THOUGHTS

I still can’t get over the silliness of Costa vs. Rockhold. I really feel like Luke became somewhat of a “what if” after getting chinned by Bisping.

Thanks for reading!


POLL POSITION

Last Week’s Results:

Friday: 68% of 512 total votes answered “Paulo Costa” when asked, “Who wins tomorrow?” Costa def. Luke Rockhold via unanimous decision in UFC 278’s co-main event.

Thursday: 66% of 651 total votes answered “Jose Aldo” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” Merab Dvalishvili def. Aldo via unanimous decision at UFC 278.

Wednesday: 47% of 691 total votes answered “Yes” when asked, “If Khamzat Chimaev defeats Nate Diaz at UFC 279, will he face the winner of Kamaru Usman vs. Edwards 2?”

Tuesday: 74% of 712 total votes answered “Kamaru Usman” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” Leon Edwards def. Usman via fifth-round knockout (head kick) in the UFC 278 main event.

Monday: 77% of 888 total votes answered “No” when asked, “If he does win on Saturday, will Luke Rockhold get a title shot?” Costa def. Rockhold via unanimous decision in UFC 278’s co-main event.

Today’s exit poll:

Poll

Will Edwards vs. Usman 3 happen in England?

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    Yes
    (666 votes)
  • 13%
    No
    (100 votes)
766 votes total Vote Now

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

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