The dramatic fifth-round knockout of Kamaru Usman by Leon Edwards in the UFC 278 main event has left the whole world in a frenzy. With less than a minute left, a visibly discouraged Leon Edwards connected with a picture-perfect head kick to knock Usman to the ground. The moment sent the Salt Lake City audience into an incredible frenzy.
On the Michael Bisping podcast, Anthony Smith and former British world champion Michael Bisping recently discussed Leon Edwards’ memorable performance. During the discussion, Smith acknowledged that Leon Edwards said something that upset him during the press conference after the bout.
“He did say something that bothered me in… like the media scrum or whatever. They were talking about him being the second champion from the UK and he said something along the lines of, ‘well, you know, Michael [Bisping] definitely did, but he did it while living in America.’ Like, almost dismissing the fact that you won a title as a guy from the UK, but doesn’t count because you were living in America when it happened.”
“He was almost saying he’s the real first one from the UK which I don’t think is fair. I don’t think that’s… I don’t know. It bothered me to be honest with you. I don’t know if he meant it to come off that way, but it bothered me for sure.”
As a reminder Leon said this after the finish:
“This has never been done before, to have a guy from Birmingham in the U.K., did it from the U.K,” Edwards told reporters at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. “I know Bisping did it first, but he did it from living in America. So it was hard for people like me to relate, to say, ‘Look, we can do it, as well.”
Leon Edwards’ comment seemed to dismiss Michael Bisping’s middleweight title victory is addressed by Bisping.
Bisping wasn’ t well liked during much of his UFC career but he’s come a long way since to become a fan favorite.
At UFC 199, Bisping abruptly won the championship after defeating Luke Rockhold. It was a fantastic moment, evoking memories of the one that fellow Brit Leon Edwards created with his kick that went viral.
Bisping acknowledged reading about Leon Edwards’ remarks that seemed to discredit his claim to be the first UFC champion from the United Kingdom. Although Bisping strongly disagreed with his remarks, he has no desire to minimize Leon Edwards’ success.
“I just scroll on Facebook and I saw it there and it just kind of made me roll my eyes. I’m not gonna sit here and sh*t on what he did over the weekend at all. I’m so happy for him.”
“Leon’s a great guy and I’ve been a massive cheerleader for his career for a long time. But, I saw that, and I just kind of rolled my eyes a little bit. I don’t really understand it if I’m quite frank. I don’t have an issue with it, but it’s just not correct.”
“I was the first British guy to win TUF. First British guy to main event. First British guy to win the belt. First British guy in the Hall of Fame and I have a f*cking British passport.”
“And I did it all whilst living in the UK and then moved there (America) because I saw him say that, ‘oh yeah, you know he had to move to America.’ I had no f*cking team. The team that I was with were all crooks and they were stealing my money.”
“Sorry, that one’s not valid, but we’ll leave one there because I don’t want to take away from his big moment.”
Edwards’ comment also somewhat dismissed ALjamain Sterling’s accomplishments.
“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.”