Antrim Electric
Leon Edwards rallies to KO Kamaru Usman in last minute of 5th round to claim title at UFC 278

Kamaru Usman on Leon Edwards: “The kick was the only weapon he used that worked”

UFC superstar and former UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman sat down for the latest episode of “The Pivot Podcast” as he went deep on the immediate aftermath of his viral KO loss to Leon Edwards and how he plans to settle the score this Saturday in their rematch, in a discussion that premieres today at 12 p.m. ET on the show’s YouTube channel.

Watch below:

Alongside the show’s co-hosts and former NFL stars Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor, Usman explains how his long unbeaten streak in the UFC changed the perception of him from the public, and how it all culminated in his knockout defeat becoming a bigger story than he had anticipated.

“When you’re successful, it’s almost like everyone is sitting back waiting for you to lose,” said Usman. “That’s what I think the knock on Floyd Mayweather was. He was so successful and perfect at his craft, that people bought his fights just to watch him lose…Once it happened to me, it was the kick heard around the world.”

Usman will meet Edwards for the third time this Saturday, March 18 in the UK, as Usman dispatched of Edwards in their 2015 clash and was in control of their August 2022 fight until a powerful kick in the final round ended Usman’s night. While he gives credit to Edwards for landing the decisive blow, Usman believes that the preparation he’s put in throughout his career will help him in this new territory.

“The kick was the only weapon he used that worked,” said Usman. “It was just a good kick. It was something that I knew that I didn’t do a good job, or I didn’t do as well as I should have, to stop it. But it was just a beautiful kick. Hats off to him.

“There are minor adjustments I have to make. But whenever you go into a fight, there’s a lot more going on than what the public can see. There’s a lot that I have to battle through just to make it to the fight. But that’s why I think I’ve been successful. Because if I don’t put myself through the fire, then I don’t feel as confident knowing that I can deal with anything being thrown at me on it’s time for real.”

Despite going into the fight looking to regain his belt, Usman is emphatic that he’s controlled almost the entirety of the rounds he and Edwards have shared in the octagon. He states strongly in the episode that his plan remains the same, and that this time he’ll finish the job.

“I’ve never been in this position, but I know that mentally, nothing has changed for me,” said Usman. “This is the same guy that I beat up before, he’s still going to be the same guy. I have to remind him who he is right away…When I fight guys, I fight their heart, because I want to break their heart…I want to break their spirit and break their soul.”

He’d go on to expand on this topic later in the episode, again discussing his desire to dominate the “soul” of his opponent, and also added the part of a fight night experience that keeps him motivated within the sport.

“It’s going to be a little bit more difficult this time,” said Usman. “In his head, he forgot about the four rounds before the kick. He forgot that I was taking his soul. So I have to remind him that I’m someone who took his soul twice…The part that makes this so addicting for me is after the fight, when you’re sitting in there in the medical tent, there’s a deep breath you take back there of just completion. That’s why I continue to do it. There’s something about that moment that’s intoxicating.”

As always, the episode took a personal and more emotional turn, as Usman described his feelings post-loss from the hospital bed when he had to see on TV his daughter’s reaction to her father’s loss.

“The only thing that broke my heart was that my daughter was there,” said Usman. “I’m this invincible guy and she’s watched me win countless times, and in a child’s head, that’s just normal…I was watching the replay at the hospital and the kick lands and then the camera pans out and I can see my daughter crying. That broke my heart big time…But then I had to flip it mentally, because this was my moment to show her.”

In closing out the episode and his thoughts on the much-discussed trilogy fight, Usman again brings it back to his daughter, and his desire to pivot this whole situation into a lesson learned for the future.

“I know that I prepared and gave everything in preparation for this fight,” said Usman. “So I know that when I come to London, I’m coming with everything. When I walk out of that Octagon with that belt, I’m content with myself…Going to London it’s a business trip. I’m going to show my daughter that it’s okay to fall, but you gotta get back up.”

Do Not Sell My Personal Information