By Jack Ryan
America loves underdogs!
And with a head kick in the final round of a fight he was handily losing, Edwards knocked out Kamaru Usman to win the UFC welterweight title in the main event of UFC 278 in Salt Lake City.
The finish came at 4:04 of the fifth round, making it the fourth-latest finish in a UFC title fight.
Edwards snapped Usman’s 15-fight UFC winning streak, which was one off Anderson Silva’s UFC record. It was one of the most stunning knockouts in the history of the sport. Usman was considered the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.
Edwards is the first Jamaican-born fighter to win a UFC title and the second England-based athlete to do so.
“It’s more for the people that grew up where I grew up,” Edwards said. “I know it. I felt it. I felt the pressure. I felt the doubt. I felt people saying it couldn’t be done. I was born with nothing.”
Usman had been dominating the fight after the first round and was up 39-37 on all three judges’ scorecards entering the fifth. But with about a minute left in the fight, Usman leaned down to his right to defend an Edwards left, and Edwards caught him flush with a left head kick, sending the 18,321 in attendance into a frenzy.
Usman, who was out on contact, was less than a minute away from a sixth title defense.