Dana White is wasting no time keeping the welterweight title scene rolling.
This past weekend at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the MMA world was flipped upside down thanks to one single kick. Down on all three judges’ scorecards going into the fifth and final round of their rematch, Leon Edwards knocked out Kamaru Usman with just a minute remaining in the contest. As a result, “Rocky” goes down as England’s second champion in promotional history behind Michael Bisping.
The score is now one win a piece between the two top welterweights in the world, and White is ready to make the trilogy bout as soon as possible and as big as possible.
“This thing is going to be so huge, not just for the UK but for Europe,” White told the media after the Contender Series. “We would hold it prime time in the UK. We’re looking at every option out there right now. We’re looking at all the venues in England. Not just London, we’re looking at every venue in England. We’re looking at everything. There’s a lot of curfews and things you gotta deal with in England, but we literally worked on that today.
“We put a fight night on at the O2 [Arena] and it sells out in minutes. Imagine what we can do with this thing. It’s gonna be massive over there. We weren’t planning on going to England again. Just like last time I left England.”
After suffering a devastating knockout as Usman did on Saturday night, he was transported straight to the hospital on fight night, avoiding any backstage media appearances. He’s since reacted on social media and on the night was revealed as the one White facetimed at the end of his own media appearance.
“We talked, he’s in great spirits,” White said. “Obviously, he wants the rematch badly but he said, ‘I can’t tell you the weight that’s been lifted off me.’ You know, there’s a lot of pressure that goes along with the run that he was on, tying and breaking Anderson [Silva’s] record, all that stuff, there’s a lot of pressure.
“He’s looking forward to the rematch and I saw Leon today, too. That kid’s walking on water and couldn’t be higher than he is right now.”
For Edwards, 30, the win extended his current streak to 11 fights without a loss, dating back to his third career defeat that came against Usman in their initial Dec. 2015 encounter. Despite losing the vast majority of the rematch, Edwards isn’t too banged up and is willing to get back at it whenever and against whoever.
“He’s down, he’s ready to defend,” White said. “He’s ready to take on whatever it is. He’s going on a whirlwind media tour when he goes home. A lot of stuff changes when you get that belt. His whole world is about to change in the next few weeks, but he’s ready for it.
“Talk about somebody that’s had nothing but bad luck and one of the things that we were talking about was — that kid accepted the Khamzat [Chimaev] fight two or three times, who was unranked. He’s legit, man. That kid is legit. He was down to fight anybody, anytime, anywhere. He just had a really great string of bad luck.”
Results. DWCS Season 6, Week 5: Michael Parkin snatches sub after early trouble in 5th contract night
Legacy. Daniel Cormier praises Luke Rockhold for ‘fairytale ending’ to his career as the last of the ‘four kings’ retires
Praise. Kamaru Usman reacts to Leon Edwards’ ‘great shot’ at UFC 278: ‘I’m talking Hail Mary in the Super Bowl’
Rivals. Rose Namajunas reacts to Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s retirement: ‘There’s definitely lots of gratitude towards her’
Matchmaker. Paulo Costa suggests Jake Paul fight Mike Perry instead of him
Officials. Referee, judges selected for Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz in UFC 279 main event
Prediction. Ricky Simon explains why he’s picking Aljamain Sterling to defeat ‘cheater’ TJ Dillashaw at UFC 280
Trilogy. Leon Edwards’ manager: Homecoming fight in UK more important than opponent for first title defense
Oof. Askar Mozharov temporarily suspended in Nevada for positive drug test following only fight in UFC
Official. Former champion Luke Rockhold notifies UFC of retirement
A Fight of the Year contender.
Felder and Chiesa react to UFC 278.
Chael on USADA’s Costa wake-up.
Fighter vs. Writer. MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin chats with Belal Muhammad.
Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses if Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman 3 is the best option after shocking UFC 278 result.
Don’t look down…
Just look at him.
Run, Cyborg, run.
First day back…Made my training partner Glad nothing got on me…Would have had to hit him with the
— Tyson Nam (@TysonNam) August 24, 2022
Not bad at all.
Dan Hooker (21-12) vs. Claudio Puelles (13-2); UFC 281, Nov. 12
Maria Oliveira (13-5) vs. Vanessa Demopoulos (8-4); UFC Fight Night, Nov. 19
Michael Johnson (22-17) vs. Marc Diakiese (16-5); UFC Fight Night, Dec. 3
Julian Marquez (9-3) vs. Deron Winn (7-3); UFC Fight Night, Dec. 17
Tafon Nchukwi (6-3) vs. Jamal Pogues (9-3); UFC Fight Night December 17th
I simply can’t get over those staredowns. Thanks for reading!
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