Former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman says many people get it wrong when they think that Leon Edwards was lucky in their fight.
In what was arguably the upset of the year, Jamaica-born Brit Edwards ended the reign of Usman in the UFC 278 main event last month.
After the first four rounds in Utah, “The Nigerian Nightmare” had taken control of the contest and appeared firmly on the way to another convincing title defence leading 3-1. But in a moment that shocked MMA fans around the globe, “Rocky” handed the first loss to Usman’s UFC record with a perfectly set up and brutal head kick.
While many gave Edwards credit for delivering one of the most memorable and seemingly unlikely comeback wins in UFC history, some looked to downplay his accomplishment, dismissing the result as nothing but ‘luck’.
But the former champ rejected the idea that the kick itself was the product of fortune.
Appearing on episode #128 of the JRE MMA Show, Usman reflected on the first KO loss of his career with renowned UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
“I don’t like the notion of everybody saying, ‘He got lucky!’ Yeah, he got lucky, yeah, of course. But luck, to me, is not what everyone is saying,” Usman said.
“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. That’s luck to me. You can’t tell me that Leon didn’t train that kick. Of course, he did! I’m not even a southpaw and I train that kick. I know he trained that kick, and there’s a video out.
“That’s what a well-rounded, number-one contender mixed martial artist in the world should do. Of course, he trained that. So, yeah, he did get lucky. He prepared to be able to land a kick like that; I presented him with the opportunity, and he landed the kick, and here we are,” Usman added. “People are trying to take away from his win. No, he landed a good kick and he put me out.”