Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards became the Welterweight champion in spectacular fashion last night having defeated Kamaru Usman via headkick with under a minute left on the clock. With Kamaru Usman knocked out and unaware what’s transpired, Edwards was crowned and soon the ‘Rocky’ theme was blasted in the arena.
Edwards was visibly emotional and shaken. In his speech after the win he stressed how inspirational his victory was.
“It’s been a long, long four years. You know, doubting myself I couldn’t do it. ”
“I’ve been down before, look at me now.”
“I thought it’s possible we can win about from the UK. I told you not to doubt it.”
” God is on my side. I said it all week. I felt like this is my moment. Everything happened in the past two years. The pandemic all of it. We’ll come back and do it. There is no ring rust, I told you that already. Now look at me now. Champion of the world. I was born in Jamaica with nothing. I lived in a wooden shed, in truth. Look at me now. ”
Additionally at the press conference following UFC 278 Edwards answered what it it’s like being the first Jamaican born world champion in this discipline.
“For me, that’s history now is never been done before. But like I said, it’s more for the people that grew up where I grew up. You know, my path was wrong. I know I felt it you know and even though I put on like a toughness, I felt the pressure I felt the doubt I felt mo saying calm and humble. ”
“I’m from the trenches like I said in my posts on interview, I was born with nothing you know, we had to claw our way open, emigrate immigrate to the UK to make a better life for yourself and I was able to change my life by getting getting into UFC you know, my mom signed me up to MMA gym at age 17 to keep my trouble and a youth to treat the change or family’s future in which is I am proud of myself and proud of everything I have achieved and it’s amazing.”
Of course this would all be swell if Edwards really was the first Jamaican world champion – that title belongs to Aljamain Sterling – albeit with a slight technicality considering he wasn’t born in Jamaica just represents it.
Sterling was born in 1989 in Uniondale, New York to Jamaican parents, Cleveland and Sophie Sterling.