Monday, October 3, 2022

Sonnen: No One Is Talking About Leon Edwards Cheating

Chael Sonnen feels Leon Edwards deserves credit for defeating Kamaru Usman, but not without an asterisk next to the final result.

Edwards defeated Usman via a fifth-round knockout at UFC 278 last Saturday. It was one of the most impressive come-from-behind wins in UFC history after Usman had seemed to overwhelm Edwards for three of the four previous rounds.

Edwards landed a head kick with just under a minute left to dethrone Usman. He is one of the few UK champions in UFC history and the first since Michael Bisping.

Edwards had issues dealing with Usman’s grappling pressure leading up to his miraculous knockout in Round 5. While Sonnen acknowledges Edwards’ performance, he feels it wasn’t without question marks when it came to how Edwards was able to, at times, escape Usman’s grasp against the fence.

Chael Sonnen Explains Controversy Surrounding Leon Edwards’ Win

Chael Sonnen, Leon Edwards

During a recent segment on his YouTube channel, Sonnen blasted Edwards for his fence grabs throughout his fight against Usman at UFC 278.

“There’s a lot more in Leon versus Usman and nobody spoke of it,” Sonnen said of Edwards’ victory. “Kamaru is apparently too much of a gentleman to, in conjunction with it appears Kamaru is going to get the rematch so there is no need for it. But Leon cheated in that match a whole bunch of times. That is not a headline or a topic that is out there anywhere, I do not want to be the one to bring that to you.

“I’m a guy that operates in the gray, I’m not giving him a hard time…for the story to be told accurately, nobody’s wanting to touch that. Leon was frustrated in positions and had no way out of positions to the extent that he cheated repeatedly, not once, not an accident, not the ref didn’t see it… the ref broke the act five or six times…

“So now you’re in a fifth round that you never should’ve been in potentially, you take a kick in a fight that you were winning, that you were trying to finish, and you had the position you needed to get said finish and the opponent cheated three times…Leon learned a lot in this fight. When Leon goes to prepare for Kamaru again, he’s going to have some confidence…it’s a strong word to say cheated, but what other word do you want to use?”

Usman and Edwards will likely run it back for a third fight in the UK for Edwards’ first title defense. It’s unclear how long Usman will be sidelined following UFC 278, but he seems focused on the trilogy with Edwards.

Sonnen is never afraid to speak his mind especially when it comes to the integrity of MMA. He’s taken shots at former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones for his past drug use.

Edwards will undoubtedly go into the trilogy with Usman with plenty of confidence, though Sonnen feels closer attention should be paid to Edwards’ attempts at fence grabs moving forward.

Do you agree with Chael Sonnen’s criticism of Leon Edwards?

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