Leon Edwards knocks out Kamaru Usman in UFC 278 Main Event

A rematch seven years in the making headlined Saturday’s UFC 278 fight card as welterweight champion Kamaru Usman took on No. 2 ranked Leon Edwards.

The two first fought at UFC on FOX 17 in December 2015. Usman defeated Edwards by unanimous decision that night, but both men were different fighters heading into the rematch.

Edwards came out throwing kicks. He landed to the body and legs. Usman quickly changed levels and worked to get the fight to the ground. Edwards slipped and Usman gained top position. Edwards wasted little time getting back to his feet. Usman kept the pressure on but Edwards took Usman down with a trip. It was the first time Usman had been taken down in his UFC career. Edwards took Usman’s back and applied a body triangle. He worked to lock on a rear-naked choke but Usman defended. The round ended with Edwards landing punches.

Usman pressured Edwards to start the second round. Edwards delivered a knee to the body in the clinch. Usman continued to apply pressure and throw combinations. Edwards circled free. Usman caught an accidental eye poke and was given time to recover. The fight was restarted 35 seconds later.

Edwards landed a left hand once the fight resumed. They exchanged punches to the body. Usman connected with a right hand but was hit with a left hook. They clinched and worked for position along the cage. Edwards circled free and quickly went for a takedown. Usman stuffed the attempt. Usman connected with an elbow and took Edwards down in the closing seconds of the frame.

The pace slowed in the third. Usman secured a takedown a minute in and Edwards quickly got back to his feet. Usman delivered knees to the legs of Edwards in the clinch. They separated and Edwards landed a left hand. Usman responded with a combination and took Edwards down. Usman peppered Edwards with punches and controlled Edwards for the final two minutes of the round.

Edwards pressed forward to start the fourth frame. He missed with a big left hand but landed a kick to the body. Edward closed the distance and took Usman’s back standing. Usman grabbed the fence to remain upright. They separated and Usman secured a takedown. Edwards worked his way back to his feet but remained in Usman’s grasp. Usman took Edwards down and Edwards got back to his feet but grabbed the fence to do so. Referee Herb Dean returned Edwards to the ground. Usman finished the round throwing punches.

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Edwards stepped in with a knee to the body. Usman pressed forward and looked for a takedown. Edwards defended the attempt but Usman pressed him against the cage and delivered foot stomps. The referee separated them midway through the round. Edwards connected with a right hand but landed a kick that was deemed low. The replay showed otherwise. The kick landed on the belt line. The fight was restarted.

Once the fight resumed, Edwards landed a head kick that immediately sent Usman to the canvas unconscious. The ended came at the 4:04 mark of the final round. Leon Edwards ended Usman’s winning streak and quest to beat Anderson Silva’s UFC record.