Having brushed past the challenges posed by Gilbert Burns, Colby Covington, and Jorge Masvidal en route to five successful defenses, Usman hoped to add a sixth to his reign this past weekend at UFC 278.
But ready to spoil those plans, as well as record-equaling ones when it comes to the now-former champ’s win streak, was Leon Edwards. Living up to his “Rocky” moniker, the Brit secured a memorable crowning in front of a sold-out Salt Lake City crowd, who witnessed one of the most impactful and meaningful head-kick KOs in UFC history.
The stoppage drew instant reactions from across social media and the globe, and whilst he had business to attend to at Eagle FC 50 in Kazakhstan, Khabib, who shares the same management as Usman, found time to provide his reaction to the moment.
Khabib: “A Lot Of People Don’t Recover”
Answering questions from inside the cage, “The Eagle,” who knows a thing or two about maintaining an undefeated record inside the Octagon, spoke about how quickly things can happen in MMA with one error.
“(In) a second, it all went wrong, put his hand in the wrong place; your lights could go out if the proper defense is not in place,” Khabib said. “You can wake up in the locker room and it’s over.”
When asked whether he thinks Usman should pursue a second welterweight rule or hang up his gloves, Khabib insisted that “The Nigerian Nightmare” can defeat Edwards, as he did back in 2015.
However, the Dagestani noted that the real question is whether or not Usman can bounce back from such a vicious KO.
“I’m aware that the trilogy is already in the works. I believe he can beat Leon Edwards. But after such a knockout, a lot of people don’t recover,” Khabib noted. “It will be interesting to see. But I would love to see the trilogy. They are 1-1.” (h/t Mr. MMA Shorts)
In his first comments post-defeat, Usman promised to bounce back with a “vengeance.” And given his lengthy reign and dominant win streak prior to UFC 278, he’s widely expected to get an immediate shot at redemption, perhaps on the newly-crowned champ’s home turf.
Do you think that Kamaru Usman can return to the top following his KO loss at UFC 278?