Stephen Thompson believes Leon Edwards landed the perfect technique to KO Kamaru Usman at UFC 278.
Edwards entered the fifth round clearly losing the fight and did not get off to the best start in the final frame. It appeared that Usman would be defending his belt by decision but Edwards landed a clean head kick that KO’d Usman in the final minute which Thompson says was a great technique.
“It was amazing, it shows true discipline in Edwards,” Thompson said to BJPENN.com. “He didn’t give up, which surprised me. He ended up taking Usman down in the first round, which hadn’t been down, and took his back and I thought Edwards was going to go out and crush him. Then, second, third, and fourth rounds it was all Usman and the normal Usman we saw, the pressure, the grind, the takedowns. I think Edwards’ defense made a role in Usman’s gas tank as it forced him to keep shooting… It was just a perfect technique done at the right time.”
After the win, it was made clear by the UFC that Edwards-Usman 3 would be next, even though Jorge Masvidal has made it known he wants the title fight. According to Thompson, he believes ‘Gamebred’ shouldn’t get the title shot, rather a champ of Usman’s stature deserves the immediate rematch.
“He’s trying to run up and fight for the title again. You had the shot, you didn’t take it,” Thomspon said about who Edwards should fight next. “Run it back, Usman has been on a tear, he’s been the champ for a while and I think he deserves a rematch. Run it back with those guys. Do I think Masvidal deserves the shot? No.”
If Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman do run it back, Stephen Thompson expects Kamaru Usman to have a wrestling-heavy game plan. If he does that, ‘Wonderboy’ believes Usman will win the trilogy and reclaim his belt but he knows people can’t count out Edwards.
“Usman was winning. If Usman takes the right amount of time off and heals up from the head injury because a big head kick will take a toll on you, if you don’t take the right amount of time off to heal up it could be dangerous for you,” Thompson said about Usman-Edwards 3. “So, I think he takes some time off and has that rematch and I think he can get it done… On paper it’s Usman, it’s Usman winning that fight because he was winning the fight up until he lost.”
Who do you think will win the trilogy, Kamaru Usman or Leon Edwards?This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM