At UFC 278, Leon Edwards viciously knocked out Kamaru Usman. Nurmagomedov is concerned that the former champion may not recover from the setback.
On Saturday night, Usman was cruising to a decision victory over Edwards in his sixth welterweight defense. After losing the first round, Usman got back into it and led the judges’ scorecards going into the fifth round. Usman was knocked out cold by a head kick from Edwards with less than a minute remaining in the bout, handing him his first UFC loss.
Due to the severity of his defeat, the former champion will probably need to undergo a medical suspension. Although Nurmagomedov is convinced Usman can exact revenge on Edwards in a future trilogy bout, he acknowledges that such losses may have an impact on athletes.
Khabib told the press,
“I believe he can beat Leon Edwards, but after such a knockout a lot of people don’t recover. It will be interesting to see, they are one and one now,” he told reporters.
“Honestly, I was surprised you could even say a little bit upset because I have a good friendship with Kamaru. Of course it was hard to watch the best fighter in the world, which he is right now, get knocked out severely with 50 seconds remaining in the fight.”
“For a second it all went wrong, [Kamaru] put his hand in the wrong place. Your lights can go out if the proper defence is not in place. You can wake up in the locker room and it’s over.”
Dominance MMA’s Ali Abdelaziz is the manager of both Usman and Nurmagomedov. After the now-retired UFC veteran was elected into the organization’s Hall of Fame, Usman recently showered Nurmagomedov with adulation. Usman also praised the Russian’s transition from competitor to coach.
Once Usman has recovered from his knockout defeat and is fit to compete once again, he is anticipated to be given a trilogy battle versus Edwards. Following the bout, the former champion tweeted to provide supporters with an update on his health:
“Champs f*** up sometimes… but we bounce back and come with vengeance. I am ok, just got caught in the right spot. These things happen. We will learn from them and do what greatness requires.”