Birmingham's Leon Edwards took Kamaru Usman's UFC Welterweight belt with a spectacular shin-to-the-face KO, at UFC 278 last night.
Usman had held the belt since 2019, and his fight against Edwards was his sixth defence, having beaten the likes of Tyron Woodley, Jorge Masvidal, and Colby Covington.
Edwards' last loss was to Usman in 2015, and he came into the fight as the underdog, and was behind on the cards before his brutal knock-out in the fifth and final round of the fight. The victory also made him the first English UFC champion since Michael Bisping.
Edwards also showed impressive restraint by not jumping on the downed Usman and hammer fisting his face, realising that the Nigerian was out cold, and instead just walking away in victory.
New UFC Champion
And this is how you shock the world, Kamaru Usman ko'd by Leon Edwards.🤯 Man down, unbeaten record gone, p4p status wrecked, belt surrendered. Now this is a Nigerian Nightmare. pic.twitter.com/PQ1OoILlPk
— 2 UP FRONT (@TwoUpFrontPod) August 21, 2022
"It's hard to put it into words, that's why I broke down in the octagon as everyone knows my path. I've said it all week, I believe that's how it had to go to build me into the man I am today," said Edwards his fight at UFC 278.
"That was one of the worst performances of my career, I did not feel good in there tonight but I went in there and knocked out the pound-for-pound No.1. I knew it would be a tough fight; he is good but I believe I'm better, even though that was one of my worst performances.
"My body wasn't reacting how it as meant to react, everyone was getting tired and gassed out and when I when tout there I felt it. But I stayed focused, my coaches spurred me on and told me to fight till the end and the kick landed perfectly."