Monday, October 3, 2022

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Kamaru Usman reacts to Leon Edwards’ ‘great shot’ at UFC 278: ‘I’m talking Hail Mary in the Super Bowl’

Kamaru Usman is taking his first UFC loss in nice spirits.

Usman’s longtime reign as welterweight champion got here to an finish this previous Saturday at UFC 278 when Leon Edwards landed a surprising headkick knockout within the ultimate minute of their championship headliner. “The Nigerian Nightmare” was lower than 60 seconds away from defending his title till the surprising second occurred.

In the long run, Usman has taken the whole lot — from the spotlight, to the response of followers — in stride.

“It was a fantastic shot, I’m speaking Hail Mary within the Tremendous Bowl,” Usman informed TMZ. “That was a fantastic shot, man.

“It’s not onerous in any respect [to watch it]. Are you aware how many individuals I’ve carried out that to? It occurred, and that’s the gorgeous factor about this sport — that occurs, however we overlook what was truly going down in that battle. I’m not down in any respect. It’s virtually like everyone seems to be extra unhappy about it than I’m. Everybody else is extra emotional than I’m. To me, that lets me know that folks care, that individuals are invested.

“I’m so gracious with simply the time, and it sucks that the eye is from a defeat,” Usman continued. “I believed I used to be well-known earlier than, however f***, with the meme motion happening, oh, I’m well-known now.

“It simply creates starvation for the return, and I’m simply excited for what’s subsequent. I’ve a uncommon alternative now to simply encourage and encourage individuals that you would be able to fall and get again up. I’m enthusiastic about it.”

Edwards finds himself in a really attention-grabbing spot the place his subsequent battle goes to be, seemingly, probably the most profitable of his profession. Whereas UFC President Dana White believes Edwards and Usman will run it again, there’s different choices in play doubtlessly.

With Khamzat Chimaev preventing Nate Diaz at UFC 279, and the historical past he has with Jorge Masvidal, there are different choices doubtlessly at play.

In Usman’s eyes, there’s just one battle that should occur — the trilogy in London.

“What else is smart? I imply, take a look at the division,” Usman defined. “It’s completely what’s going to occur subsequent. I talked to Dana and we’re going to see, let him do his job, and we’ll see what date is smart. It’s going to be the highest of subsequent yr.

“I used to be going to attempt to squeeze [another] one on this yr, however I need the highest of subsequent yr, and I need to go to England. I’ve been fiending to go to England. I really feel prefer it’s my second residence [because] England is like half Africa. Individuals don’t know that, but it surely’s time to go over there and entertain the English individuals. And what higher story? You couldn’t write this any higher.

Usman got here up quick in his bid to tie Anderson Silva’s undefeated streak on Saturday, and ended his reign with 5 profitable title defenses — 4 behind Georges St-Pierre.

With a win over Edwards underneath his belt in December 2015, and the unbelievable ending to their second assembly, Usman is completely satisfied for his two-time opponent and is worked up to have his alternative to regain the title in early 2023.

“I like Leon. I’ve all the time favored Leon,” Usman mentioned. “I truly comply with Leon on social media, it’s bizarre. He don’t comply with me, however that’s what it’s.

“I like Leon, and I’m very completely satisfied for Leon. In a way, he took on the identical path, the identical journey that I took, he type of jogs my memory of me. However that is nice for his story, and it’s even larger for my story so we’ll run it again. He’s wished to battle in London for some time, and now he’s received it. Now you bought it, and it’s a giant one. It’s a mega-fight. Congratulations to Leon. What an exquisite method, what a Hail Mary. That’s why I like this sport: something can occur at any time, and it positively did.”

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