Islam Makhachev: Leon Edwards got ‘lucky’ with head-kick KO

Islam Makhachev recently discussed Leon Edwards’ sharpshooter KO against Kamaru Usman. The lightweight star was reluctant to acknowledge Edwards skill and said the knockout was nothing more than luck.

Leon Edwards became the center of attention when he knocked out Kamaru Usman and became the new UFC welterweight champion. Usman had a lot of plans that might not have materialized after the defeat, such as boxing Canelo Alvarez, starring in Black Panther movie, and breaking Anderson Silva’s 16 win streak.

Usman was dominating but Edwards managed to pull off a comeback in the last minute. He delivered a head kick after faking his jab. The impact of the kick knocked ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ out cold and ended his reign as both welterweight champion and pound-for-pound king.

Several fans think it wasn’t luck as Edwards set the fake jab perfectly and Usman ate the bait. However, a lot of them think it was just a fluke, including Islam Makhachev. During a talk with ESPN, the Dagestan-born said Usman was clearly beating Edwards until the knockout.

“Edwards [got] lucky because [Usman] beat him all five rounds, almost. First round, (Edwards took) him down, took his back, but other rounds (Usman) beat him very easily, took him down many times and smashed him there.” Makhachev said.

And while Makhachev is prepping for his lightweight title shot, his coach and friend isn’t discounting a move to welterweight.

 “Too early to say. He hasn’t even got the 155 Belt yet. But if he gets it and defends it a few times, Islam in his best shape walks around at 178.5 lbs. Who knows. He used to spar with Leon Edwards a lot in 2015-2016 by the way. Everything that happens in the gym, stays in the gym but Islam did really good back then,”

Khabib said speaking to the reporters.

Edwards will run it back with Usman to have a trilogy. UFC president Dana White recently said that he is planning to have their third outing in England early next year.

He added, “ 100 percent I think Kamaru is going to beat him because Edwards has the same problem, always with wrestling guys.”

Makhachev himself is a grappling phenom whose skill is going to be tested by former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira. Oliveira is known to be one of the best grapplers in the UFC, holding the most submission wins record in the UFC with 16 submissions. The pair will get in the cage at UFC 280 in October.