UFC Actual or Not – Was Leon Edwards’ win vs. Kamaru Usman the very best kick knockout ever?
We check out a number of the greatest questions in MMA, beginning with Leon Edwards‘ wild upset of Kamaru Usman, and attempt to separate what’s actual and what’s not.
SALT LAKE CITY — The battle was all however over. Other than a takedown and a rear-naked choke try within the first spherical, Leon Edwards was handily dropping to Kamaru Usman.
There was lower than a minute left. Usman was on the verge of successful his sixteenth straight UFC battle, tying Anderson Silva’s report. It seemed like one other dominant efficiency from the person thought of the very best pound-for-pound fighter on this planet.
After which, bam!
Edwards ripped a left head kick and Usman was unconscious on affect. At 4:04 of the fifth and last spherical, Edwards knocked out the seemingly invincible Usman to snap his historic streak and win the UFC welterweight title Saturday at Vivint Area. The 18,321 in attendance had been surprised after which whipped right into a frenzy, chanting Edwards’ “Rocky” nickname.
The Utah followers knew they witnessed historical past. They usually actually, really did. An argument may very well be made that Edwards pulled off the best comeback knockout in UFC historical past.
It is uncommon for a challenger to complete a champion within the last spherical whereas being down on the playing cards. Miesha Tate did it in 2016, choking out Holly Holm to win the UFC ladies’s bantamweight title. Jiri Prochazka completed Glover Teixeira with a fifth-round rear-naked choke in June to win the UFC mild heavyweight title, although that was extra of a back-and-forth battle. Edwards did it with a Hail Mary head kick.
Maybe the very best comeback within the sport’s historical past was Silva’s triangle-choke end within the fifth spherical towards Chael Sonnen in 2010. Sonnen had dominated your entire battle along with his wrestling and ground-and-pound earlier than Silva pulled the choke out of nowhere from his again with simply over two minutes left. However once more, it was not a knockout.
On prime of that, Edwards did it towards the very best fighter on this planet and one of many best of all time. UFC president Dana White was already speaking about Usman within the GOAT dialog. Edwards put an finish to one of the crucial spectacular trajectories within the historical past of MMA with one kick.
With Usman was on the verge of tying the longest successful streak in UFC historical past, Edwards put a halt to it and who is aware of if fighter will ever match or beat it. Alexander Volkanovski now has the longest energetic successful streak within the UFC at 12. Usman was additionally about to exceed Matt Hughes’ 5 title defenses, the second most in UFC welterweight historical past. However now he’ll should accept a tie with Hughes for now.
Edwards and Usman will battle once more, for positive. It will most likely be the following battle for each, a large trilogy bout that will probably be held in Edwards’ adopted dwelling nation of England. Edwards may have an opportunity to defend the title and additional his personal legacy then.
However now? It doesn’t matter what occurs from right here, this epic knockout — maybe the best comeback KO in UFC historical past — will reside ceaselessly.
Ciryl Gane won’t get a title shot subsequent, even with a spectacular win over Tai Tuivasa
Raimondi: Actual. It appears unlikely Gane will get a title shot once more this rapidly after dropping to champion Francis Ngannou at UFC 270 final January. Nearly as good as Gane had seemed climbing the rankings to face Ngannou, his former teammate at MMA Manufacturing unit in Paris, his efficiency within the title battle was a disappointing one. Ngannou was in a position to defeat him with a foul knee that wanted surgical procedure by wrestling and grappling, one thing Ngannou had by no means been recognized for beforehand. Ngannou is among the strongest punchers in UFC historical past and that’s how he often wins fights. Only a few noticed that wrestling-heavy sport plan coming and Gane had a tough time figuring it out.
Gane is just 32 years previous and virtually certainly will get one other crack on the belt. He’s a hearty, -550 favourite towards Tai Tuivasa. However even when he wins in spectacular trend, it actually does not appear probably that he could be subsequent in line. Ngannou remains to be recovering from surgical procedure and he’s anticipated to be a free agent in January. Nobody is kind of positive how that state of affairs will play out.
In the meantime, if Ngannou is not wholesome or is on his means out the door, the UFC appears poised to do an interim title battle between former longtime mild heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic, probably the most profitable UFC heavyweight champion subsequent. That battle might happen as early as December at UFC 282, which Jones eluded to in a latest publish on Twitter. If Ngannou walks, Gane might theoretically battle the Jones vs. Miocic winner for the undisputed title. However, Curtis Blaydes can also be on the market as a prime contender and Gane may need to undergo him first.
There are positively paths that might lead Gane to a heavyweight title shot with a victory over Tuivasa, however the probably situation is the expert Frenchman needing to win another earlier than his second probability on the belt.
Demetrious Johnson — bear in mind him? — remains to be a pound-for-pound drive
Wagenheim: We’ll discover out on Friday when “Mighty Mouse” fights a rematch with Adriano Moraes for the One Championship flyweight title. After they met in April 2021, Moraes efficiently defended his belt with a stunning knockout of the previous UFC champ with a knee within the second spherical. It was the one time in Johnson’s 35-fight profession that he is been completed. Now they’re doing it once more, and the battle is an enormous deal for One, which is making an attempt to determine itself in the US. This week’s occasion will happen in Singapore — however will probably be broadcast reside in prime time within the U.S. It is laborious to think about a greater means for the promotion to showcase Johnson, one of many best within the historical past of MMA. Each males are within the ESPN males’s flyweight prime 10, however Mighty Mouse is the model identify that American followers will acknowledge.
Does Johnson have a future as a presence in pound-for-pound rankings? I is likely to be confirmed unsuitable by the tip of the week, however I will say “not,” the times of Mighty Mouse as a top-shelf competitor have handed. The person is 36 years previous and has not had a high-level win since 2017. Certain, he gained three in a row in One to earn his first title shot, however he did not precisely steamroll his lower-tier opponents. This isn’t to decrease the career-long greatness of Johnson. He is No. 3 in UFC title battle wins with 12, behind solely Jones and Georges St-Pierre and forward of Anderson Silva and Amanda Nunes. As that checklist of names suggests, Johnson belongs among the many all-time greats, and I will be watching on Friday to see what he has left to indicate us.
Okamoto: Not actual. I believe that is fairly apparent. How on this planet might or not it’s? Chimaev simply beat the No. 1 contender at welterweight. He is in his prime and speaking about successful titles in three completely different weight lessons. Diaz is 1-3 in his previous 4 fights. The final time he fought for a championship was 10 years in the past, in a distinct weight class. The one means you’ll be able to say that is the best battle for Chimaev is that it may possibly construct his model, which is why the UFC made it. And I am unable to blame it for that.
As soon as Diaz made it clear he solely meant to have another battle within the UFC, the promotion was going to make a enterprise determination on who that last battle could be towards. And it was both going to be Conor McGregor (for the cash) or Chimaev (for the sake of constructing Chimaev). So, it is fairly simple to grasp why this battle is occurring. However no, I am unable to say it is the best battle for Chimaev. A greater battle would have been an opponent like Colby Covington, which the UFC additionally had an curiosity in reserving.