Despite dominating a major part of the fight, Nigeria’s Kamaru Usman suffered knockout defeat against British fighter Leon Edwards early Sunday morning just after Anthony Joshua lost his boxing bout.
Edwards produced a stunning last-gasp head-kick KO to win the title against the stunned Usman at UFC 278.
Usman, nicknamed the Nigerian nightmare, is adjudged as the number one pound-for-pound fighter. He was looking to make the sixth defence of his title in a rematch against Edwards, and he appeared to be making progress until he was dealt the last-minute kick that left him in the cold.
Before the early Sunday fight, Usman and Edwards had faced off in the early stages of their UFC careers and it was the Nigerian who won unanimously in 2015.
Since outpointing Edwards in 2015, Usman had won 13 consecutive fights whilst the Brit was unbeaten in 10 fights.
With so much talk from Usman in the build-up to this, he wasted no time in taking Edwards down as the fight got underway, but the Brit turned the tables when he landed a takedown of his own and took Usman’s back.
The Nigerian Nightmare, aware it was not going to be any easy fight for him, turned up the pace in the second round and started to put together some good combinations before ending the round on top with another takedown.
It was still all Usman in the third round as he dominated Edwards on the mat, mixing up his submission attempts with strikes.
While Edwards was slowing down as the rounds went on, Usman continued his relentless pressure in the final round which turned out to be his greatest undoing.