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Leon Edwards has called skeptics after shocking the MMA world with a last-round headbutt to knock out Kamaru Usman to win the welterweight title at UFC 278 on Saturday.
Usman looked destined for victory and a sixth title defense after dominating early on, but Edwards’ left kick stunned the 35-year-old Nigerian with less than a minute left in the fifth round.
Edwards’ kick caught Usman flush, appearing to knock him out on contact and stun the crowd of 17,000 in Salt Lake City.
Jamaican-born Edwards jumped out of the octagon in celebration as Usman, who many considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, lay on the beaten floor.
“You all doubted me, you said I couldn’t do it,” Edwards said. “They all said I couldn’t do it.
“Look at me now. Look at me now. Pound for pound one.”
The headbutt knockout ended Edwards’ 15-fight UFC winning streak, falling short of Anderson Silva’s UFC record.
The two previously faced off in December 2015, with Usman triumphing via unanimous decision.
Paulo Costa got the better of Luke Rockhold in an epic, winning by unanimous decision, 30-27 30-27 30-27, to get back in the middleweight title chase.
Rockhold looked tired after the first round, with the Brazilian scoring the first takedown and delivering a barrage of ground body shots.
The American had a second-round moment, landing a roundhouse kick on Costa, but the Brazilian fought back with a big body kick late in the round after a timeout from a low kick.
Despite Costa’s dominance, Rockhold fought valiantly and landed a few shots, but the Brazilian didn’t relent, capitalizing on a botched takedown attempt to shut him down.
UFC legend Jose Aldo was outclassed by Merab Dvalishvili who picked up a unanimous decision victory, 29-28, 29-28 30-27.
Dvalishvili, the fast-growing bantamweight contender, was unable to get Aldo to the court where he wanted but outplayed him for the win.