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Midnight Mania! Dana White refutes Chael Sonnen’s ‘ridiculous’ claim that Leon Edwards cheated to defeat Kamaru Usman

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MMA: AUG 20 UFC 278 Photo by Alejandro Salazar/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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Leon Edwards’ last-minute Hail Mary head kick knockout win over Kamaru Usman will go down as one of the best knockouts of the year (HIGHLIGHTS). UFC 278’s main event seemed like a done deal, but Edwards pulled the trigger at the perfect time to upset the dominant champion and undo all of his previous good work.

The win does not come without a smidge of controversy, however. Though Usman himself didn’t complain in defeat, UFC analyst Chael Sonnen has argued that Edwards cheated in the earlier portions of the fight. Specifically, Edwards did lose position for grabbing the fence at one point, and there was a brief break in the action due to an eye poke (which doesn’t look great for Edwards given his history with Belal Muhammad).

So, while there may be some truth in Sonnen’s claim, UFC President Dana White doesn’t believe that’s a fair summation of what happened. Instead, he gives full credit to that magic left kick for getting the job done.

“He became champion with a head kick,” White said (via MMA Junkie). “He didn’t win by grabbing the fence. I mean, he got absolutely dominated in that whole fight except for that couple of minutes in the first round. He got absolutely dominated, and you know, that’s completely unfair of Chael Sonnen to say that. That kid sucked it up, dug down deep and landed literally the perfect head kick with like a minute left in the fight. So I would say that that’s silly, ridiculous and absolutely unfair to say about Leon.”

In addition, it’s worth mentioning that both fighters were playing a bit dirty. Usman was grabbing gloves and the cage himself, and its arguable that he was given an unearned rest after a declared low blow seemed to land more towards the mid-section. In wrestling-heavy, grinding matches like their 24-minute title fight, a bit of rule fudging is hardly uncommon, particularly since consequences in MMA are often few and far between.


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Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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