Chael Sonnen claims Leon Edwards ‘cheated’ multiple times against Kamaru Usman at UFC 278

Leon Edwards
Mandatory Credit: Al Powers - ESPN Images & Zuffa LLC

Former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger, Chael Sonnen has claimed that recently minted undisputed welterweight champion, Leon Edwards “cheated” on multiple occasions in his UFC 278 title-winning performance against former champion, Kamaru Usman earlier this month.

Headlining UFC 278 in the promotion’s most recent flagship pay-per-view instalment, Leon Edwards managed to rally after losing the second, third, and fourth round – stopping defending champion, Usman with a blistering fifth round left high kick – avenging a prior December 2015 loss and securing undisputed welterweight gold.

Chael Sonnen claims Leon Edwards “cheated” on multiple occasions at UFC 278

However, despite his spectacular, historic victory over Usman, Edwards’ performance has been questioned by UFC and Bellator alum, Sonnen – who claimed the Birmingham native “cheated” on multiple occasions against the former.

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“There’s a lot more in Leon (Edward) versus (Kamaru) Usman and nobody spoke of it,” Chael Sonnen said on his YouTube channel. “Kamaru is apparently too much of a gentleman to, in conjunction with it appears Kamaru is going to get the rematch so there is no need for it. But Leon cheated in that match a whole bunch of times. That is not a headline or a topic that is out there anywhere. I do not want to be the one to bring that to you.” 

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“I’m a guy that operates in the grey, I’m not giving him (Leon Edwards) a hard time… for the story to be told accurately, nobody’s wanting to touch that. Leon was frustrated in positions and had no way out of positions to the extent that he cheated repeatedly not once, not on accident, the ref (referee) didn’t see it… the ref broke the act five or six times…”

“So now you’re in a fifth round that you never should’ve been in potentially, you take a kick in a fight thay you were winning, that you were trying to finish, and you had the position you needed to get said finish and the opponent (Leon Edward) cheated three times… Leon learned a lot in this fight. When Leon goes to prepare for Kamaru again, he’s going to have some confidence… it’s a strong word to say cheated, but what other word do you want to use?” (Transcribed by BloodyElbow)

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Expected to clash with Usman next year in a title trilogy rubber match, Leon Edwards has stressed that he will take on all comers in his first attempted defense of the undisputed welterweight title, however, insists his first outing as division kingpin must come on home soil at a U.K. venue.