The shocking result came after Edwards uncorked a head kick that blasted Usman and sent him crashing to the canvas with less than a minute remaining in the fight. Usman was out as he hit the ground while Edwards celebrated the monumental victory as he became UFC welterweight champion.
Following the fight, Usman released his first statement on social media after he was taken to a local hospital for precautionary reasons after the brutal knockout ended his title reign.
“Champs f*** up sometimes,” Usman wrote. “But we bounce back and come with vengeance!!”
The result was understandably heartbreaking, especially with Usman ahead on the scorecards as the fight moved into the fifth and final round.
After a rough start that saw Edwards take his back in the opening round, Usman took over with a suffocating attack as he landed multiple takedowns and never gave his British opponent a moment to breathe.
Just when it looked like Edwards was running out of gas, he launched the head kick heard round the world as Usman suffered defeat for only the second time in his entire career.
Following his initial statement, Usman returned to Twitter to offer his congratulations to Edwards on a job well done.
“Damn I love this sport!!!” Usman said. “Things happen but… Alhamdulillah we move!! Congratulations Leon Edwards.”
As devastating as this loss may be, Usman will take time to recover knowing that he will likely see Edwards again soon with UFC president Dana White confirming plans to book a trilogy between them once both are healthy enough to compete again.
Usman holds a unanimous decision win over Edwards from their first meeting in 2015 and now “Rocky” has pulled off the upset in the rematch. White mentioned that he would love to take the third fight to Edwards’ home country of England, although it’s obviously premature to make any plans for the trilogy just yet.