Kamaru Usman has revealed that he was looking to finish Leon Edwards in the last minute of their outing.
After an early stumble, Usman rebounded well to get the better of Edwards. Going into the fifth round, he was ahead on the judges’ scorecards and looked set to add another title defense to his name. However, a head kick from Edwards in the final minute would blast him off the throne and see “Rocky” get the welterweight championship in the most dramatic fashion.
Kamaru Usman was looking to finish Leon Edwards at UFC 278
Usman would have had a better chance to retain the gold had he cruised his way to the decision, but “The Nigerian Nightmare” argued against the idea.
“No, that’s not who I am,” Usman told TMZ (ht MMA Fighting). “When I fight, I got petal to the metal and I don’t look at the clock. “I’m a goer, when I hear the [horn] I still want to go, and when the ref says, ‘Break, go to your corners,’ I still want to go. That’s the way that I fight. I wanted the finish, it was just a beautiful technique. I could’ve taken him down, but I really wanted a finish and when I was setting up, and only God knows what I was setting up, I didn’t land it, [who knows] how much damage it could’ve done, but it was just a beautiful technique.”
Usman was in ‘awe’ of how good the head kick was
Considering the dominant run Usman had as champion, a trilogy fight looks likely next. Usman took the less well and was almost in appreciation of the perfectly executed technique by his opponent.
“He threw head kicks throughout the fight, I blocked them all,” Usman said. “That one was just money, I’m almost in awe on how good it was, but it happens. Champions fall, then they get back and show you why they’re champions.”