UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards, fight result, Edwards birthday

Edwards deservedly took the belt. He was rewarded for the constant ignore from the UFC and a difficult childhood

Denis Dorofeev

Denis Dorofeev

Leon Edwards deservedly took the belt

Leon gave himself a dream gift for his 31st birthday.

We are accustomed to the fact that only the best and brightest, whom the league specifically promotes, become champions. But sometimes this share falls to the most inconspicuous characters who deserve this title no less than others. These include Leon Edwards, who for a long time lacked that same push from the UFC.

Yes, he had a streak of nine wins. But which of the tops did he defeat? Lightweight Rafael dos Anjos, no Donald Cerrone or Nate Diaz who is not in the top 15 of the division. In addition, Leon survived the last round with the Stockton gangster. Therefore, his high position in the ratings was doubtful. And after the victory of Khamzat Chimaev over Gilbert Burns, the Briton of Jamaican origin completely rose to second place.

As for Borz himself, the UFC made three attempts to arrange a meeting with Edwards. Leon is not to blame for the fact that Khamzat suspended his career. Also, the Briton is not to blame for the outbreak of coronavirus, which canceled the fight with Tyron Woodley in 2020. And Rocky is definitely not involved in Jorge Masvidal’s injury, because of which their last year’s fight was covered. The only thing Edwards did wrong was when he pointed his finger in the eye of Belal Muhammad. As a result, their fight was declared invalid. That being said, he definitely deserved the title shot with his hard work and winning streak.

Chimaev in flight?  The President of the UFC promised a fight for the title, but gave back
Chimaev in flight? The President of the UFC promised a fight for the title, but gave back

The UFC leadership did not notice the efforts of the Briton for a long time. How else can one explain the fact that he was only 12th in the division rankings after seven straight wins. At the same time, his compatriot Darren Till was third with a streak of five triumphs. But at a tournament in London, this series was interrupted by Masvidal with a brutal knockout. Immediately after that, a confrontation with Edwards suggested itself. Jorge even fueled it with a backstage fight with Rocky, where he smashed his face. However, the leadership of the league did not notice this episode.

But this did not break Leon, who modestly continued to do his job and still waited for his chance. Even when Leon was hopelessly losing a rematch to Kamar Usman, he waited until the last moment for the right moment to create the upset of the year. So if you remember what difficulties he went through before getting into MMA, then the question of whether that head kick was a lucky punch or a measured blow will disappear. Usman’s knockout is compensation for a difficult childhood, the murder of his father, ignorance by the UFC management and numerous cancellations of fights.

Maybe Leon Edwards will not become a great fighter like Kamaru Usman and Georges St-Pierre, but he definitely deserved this moment of glory and those moments when he sobbed in front of his family on FaceTime. Therefore, winning the UFC title on the eve of the 31st birthday is very symbolic and natural. Happy birthday champion!

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