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Leon Edwards KO, Skip, Shannon by Kamaru Usman


It was heard around the world.

Kamaru Usman — the reigning welterweight champ and pound-for-pound best fighter in the world heading into Saturday's UFC 278 — was showing exactly why he hasn't lost his title tilt since 2013 against Leon Edwards.

After being taken down for the first time in the UFC in the first round, Usman bounced back with a flurry of big strikes in rounds 2-4, his legendary wrestling pedigree shining through as he looked to complete another title defense.

Round 5 was the same exact story. Usman, who trains at high altitude in Denver, CO, looked fresh and lively, staying on the attack as his opponent scrambled to suppress the attack. And while Usman's conditioning pushed him forward, Edwards looked as good as defeated, making little effort to retaliate and going out with a “bang.”

With just under a minute on the clock, Edwards shut Usman down with a dazzling shot, tricked his foe with a slick left jab and pressured Usman with his quick-forward leg.

Shocking is not the word to describe the turnaround. It was shocking, and it left the entire audience collectively speechless.

“Undisputed” co-host Shannon Sharpe was one of many who were left without a voice shortly after the knockout.

But on Monday morning, he expressed his surprise at the words from Saturday.

“… Edwards is a different fighter than the one he lost to Usman in 2015. He did a great job of catching Usman with some nice shots, but Usman won the round. All Usman did was slip a punch, and lean a little. A lot. Away, and that left leg planted perfectly over his head.

“That's the thing about the UFC … until the bell goes off in the fifth round, nobody's out of the fight, because like that — one leg, one elbow, one punch — it's over! As soon as it lands, it's over. (Referee) Herb Dean came in because he knew (Usman) wasn't going to get out of it … one mistake and it's (over).”

Leon Edwards strips Kamaru Usman of UFC title with last-minute KO

Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe share their reactions to Leon Edwards' mind-blowing comeback at UFC 278.

Edwards hoisting the belt as the new welterweight champion was not at all a foregone conclusion.

“I said, 'I'm not going to buy that fight,'” Bayless reflected. “I'll just watch the results on the computer. … I see with one eye, and suddenly… what? As Dana White said, that's what makes this game the greatest in the world.

“Usman fought flawlessly and with complete confidence all night. He fought perfectly. Well, almost, just a few seconds apart.”


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