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Kamaru Usman releases statement after UFC 278 knockout loss - ‘Champs f— up sometimes’

Kamaru Usman has spoken out following a nasty KO defeat at UFC 278 to Leon Edwards, and ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is already plotting his ‘vengeance.’

Kamaru Usman was one minute away from continuing his seven-year streak of UFC dominance when it all went sideways. Leon Edwards — who was down 3-1 on all three judges’ scorecards — threw out a nifty little left jab / left kick combination that caused “The Nigerian Nightmare” to lean headfirst right into the kick. He was left unconscious on the canvas, eyes blankly staring into infinity (watch the finish here).

But, champions aren’t only known for how they win, how they lose is important as well. While boxing’s Anthony Joshua is getting heat for his impressive display of anti-class following his second loss to Oleksandr Usyk, Usman tweeted out the written equivalent of a shrug after the crushing defeat.

“Champs f$ck up sometimes….” he wrote. “But we bounce back and come with vengeance!!”

“Damn I love this sport!!!” he added in a second message. “Things happen but … Alhamdulillah we move!! Congratulations Leon Edwards.”

This is the first time Usman has tasted a loss in the Octagon and the first time in mixed martial arts (MMA) since his second professional fight in 2013. The former Welterweight champion doesn’t have a lot of experience dealing with defeat, but at lease on the outside he is dealing with it well and already looking to take his title back.

And by all accounts, it looks like he’ll get his chance sooner rather than later. Following the stunning upset, UFC President, Dana White, confirmed the organization was looking at a Edwards vs. Usman rubber match.

“I thought Usman fought the perfect fight,” White said at the UFC 278 post-fight press conference. “It was crazy, because I was listening to the commentary and Rogan and Anik and DC were dead on with everything they were saying on what Edwards needed to do and what he should be doing. As soon as they were saying it, he literally lands the head kick.

“How do you not [do a trilogy]?” White continued. When asked if it would take place in the United Kingdom, he replied, “Yeah.”

Edwards has been mentally prepared to grant Usman a rematch since before the fight took place.

“I knew going into it that more than likely we were going to have a rematch down the line,” he said. “Whoever is next or down the line, we’re going to have a rematch.”

Two things that may delay a third Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman fight: UFC’s schedule, which is already packed until the end of 2022. And a potential lengthy medical suspension for Usman. Bad knockouts often result in six-month “no contact” suspensions, but we’ll have to see what the Utah Sports Commission decides on the issue.


To check out the latest and greatest UFC 278: “Usman vs. Edwards 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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