On August 20, Edwards culminated a memorable journey from troubled youth to a globally known mixed martial arts great. He reached the top by dethroning Usman in the Utah-held headliner, with a last-gasp head kick marking one of the most memorable comeback victories and knockouts seen in a UFC championship fight.
With the win, “Rocky” paraded around the Octagon and drank in the moment in Salt Lake City, with his emotions pouring over backstage as he spoke to his mother — the catalyst of his successful MMA career — on the phone.
As well as personal accomplishments, Edwards also cemented his place in the history books as only the second champion from the UK in UFC history, joining former middleweight titleholder Michael Bisping in the elite club.
With that in mind, the man who fell to Edwards at UFC 278 believes that his rival deserved more “love” from his home fans.
Usman: ‘It Should Have Been Leon Edwards Day’
Speaking to Joe Rogan on the latest episode of the JRE MMA Show, Usman discussed the support behind Edwards in the UK, where the champ moved to from Jamaica at the age of nine.
Usman cited Edwards’ return to England following his championship victory as evidence that “Rocky” doesn’t get the level of fanfare that he deserves. According to “The Nigerian Nightmare,” Edwards’ head-kick KO was worthy of a national holiday.
“I don’t think he’s been getting the love that he should have been getting. I just don’t see it. Even now after winning the title,” Usman said. “He won the title and got to the airport, and I think there was, I was told, maybe 20 people there. He should’ve had a parade. It was like 20 people there — his family.
“They should have had to shut down the airport, it should be Leon Edwards Day. You just got the title from Kamaru Usman, it should be Leon Edwards day. I hope he does get it,” Usman concluded.
It’s worth noting that whoever informed Usman of Edwards’ reception upon his return to the UK evidently left out the true nature of the scenes, which were recorded and uploaded by the Brit’s gym, Team Renegade MMA, on Instagram.
Rather than the poor fan turnout implied by Usman, Edwards’ landing at Heathrow Airport was kept private, with only the champ’s family and friends aware of his arrival details.
Unless Usman expects UK fans to have psychopathic abilities, a sizable fan turnout wasn’t possible…
Should talk of a trilogy fight between Edwards and Usman materialize into a blockbuster event in the UK, the former champ will likely get a more accurate display of the Brit’s home support.
What do you make of Kamaru Usman’s comments?