Leon Edwards won the UFC welterweight title by sensationally knocking out Kamaru Usman in the final moments of their five-round epic last August.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ seemed to be cruising his way to a decision victory over Edwards in Salt Lake City before the Englishman caught him with a monstrous head kick with less than a minute left on the clock.
Usman dropped to the floor statuesque in the fifth and final round before the referee waved off the fight to make Edwards the first Jamaican-born and second British fighter to ever win a UFC belt.
The naysayers have claimed that ‘Rocky’ caught the long-time champion with a lucky shot, but they were quickly silenced following the release of behind-the-scenes footage from UFC 278.
“If he starts throwing some shots and dipping his head away, that’s when we are looking for the head kick,” one of Edwards’ coaching team pointed out while studying Usman’s fight footage.
In a clip posted by BT Sport, we also see Edwards and his coach who pointed out the flaw in Usman’s defence drilling the left high kick that ultimately knocked out the 35-year-old.
The fighter from Birmingham is now ready for his trilogy fight with Usman, who he first fought all the way back in 2015 when they were both UFC newcomers.
On that occasion, he suffered a unanimous decision loss. So, heading into the trilogy bout, the two men are tied 1-1 for wins and they will both get the chance to settle the rivalry once and for all.
Edwards said: “I just want to see how he reacts to getting knocked out cold, and see how he reacts travelling to the UK, seeing how crazy the fans are and just see how he comes back because he’s not getting any younger.
“He’s, what, 35, 36? Maybe older? Let’s see how he comes back.
“It’ll be a totally different fight, I’ve said it, my coaches have said it. I’ve never lost in the UK, amateur or pro, so I’m excited.
“I love fighting in front of my friends and my family. If he thinks he’s going in there and it’s going to be the same fight, he’s in for a rude awakening.”
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