Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Leon Edwards says body 'just turned off' at UFC 278, credits coach for comeback: 'They know how to push my buttons'

Leon Edwards admits doubts started to creep in against Kamaru Usman at UFC 278, but adds that his coach helped him score in the comeback knockout.

Last Saturday, Edwards won the welterweight title with a stunning fifth-round knockout of Usman in the main event of UFC 278. With less than a minute left in the game, Edwards unleashed a left-footed kick that sent Usman cold. But as good as the comeback is, “Rocky” thinks Salt Lake City’s elevation may be holding back a better performance.

“In my head, I thought, ‘Why is everyone so tired? I looked at it and thought I wasn’t going to be tired because I’ve been here for two weeks , I slept at high altitude at home – I probably wouldn’t feel it,” Edwards said on MMA when asked how he felt before warming up, hours . “So I was watching it backstage, and when I was warming up, I was thinking in the back of my head, ‘S, why is everyone so tired? When we went there, after the first round, I couldn’t explain it, I My body is paralyzed. It’s just a weird feeling. It’s not cardio, it’s like my body isn’t responding. In my head, I can think of what I want to do, but my body doesn’t Do this. …

“My 10 games I have to get to this point to fight for the championship, I’ve never looked like that in a game ,there has never been. Even when I’m fighting, I look straight ahead and go, ‘Man, what the hell is going on? Keep pushing. I know he’s cunning and can feel it physically, but just keep trying and stay focused. It never ends until it ends. I stayed there and got a clean header KO. …

“If my body reacted the same as in the first round, the fight would be completely different. I felt normal in the first round. Then after that , my body just shuts off to me. If I could feel like I did in the first round, it would be a whole different fight.”

Edward Zee wasn’t the only one feeling the effects of altitude at UFC 278. Many of the fighters in the fight looked visibly exhausted early in the bout, most notably during the middleweight co-main event bout between Paul Costa and Luke Rockhold, in which Rockhold repeated the fight Put your hands on your knees. While Edwards’ problems didn’t come out so clearly, the review team did argue in the battle that “Rocky” looked mentally beaten ahead of his creative comeback. Even Edwards admits he’s starting to think it might just be the latest in a career full of setbacks.

“I’m concerned, of course — 100 percent,” Edwards said. “That moment was so important to me, it was just my luck. I thought, ‘Man, this can’t happen, it’s going to go like this. “I’ve been saying all week, I feel like this is my moment. God brought me to this point and made this happen. That’s what I’ve been playing with in my head, there’s no way God brought me here just To make a decision and end like this. I had to stay focused and listen to my team. Great motivation. They knew how to push my buttons and they left me there and finished the game.”

Coach Edwards’ corner has become legendary, spurring their fighters towards his incredible comeback, telling Edwards ‘Stop feeling sorry for yourself’ ” and “pull this bastard out of the fire”. It turned out that was exactly what Edwards needed at the time.

“It’s happened before, but it’s not as intense,” Edwards said. “It used to be like that in training and other things. … I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself. I was feeling — it’s hard to explain. I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself, and I was thinking, ‘This can’t be like this. “I think he could see it in my face, based on what he said. ‘Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Keep trying, man. You shouldn’t be here. You can beat this guy. You can do it, so just get out there. Do it. So this is what I did. …

“It was one of the worst performances of my career. Worst at the most important moments of my life, it’s hard to explain how you’re feeling psychologically. It’s like what the fuck. bring it on. How to play like this. It’s hard to pass, but it’s what it is. That was Usman’s best performance, that was my worst performance, and he still couldn’t finish me. I finished him on the worst day. “

However, Edwards is now the undisputed welterweight champion, for a man facing so many challenges in After adversity and many setbacks before realizing his dreams, “Rocky” says it’s still gearing up for him.

“Everyone They’re asking me, ‘How do you feel? ‘ But it’s hard to put into words,” Rocky said. “I think that’s why in my post-fight interview I just cried because it was hard — not just the moment of winning the UFC World Championship, but reaching That point or fulfilling my dream and going through all the ups and downs of life and my entire career. Still difficult to express in words. It still feels so surreal. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real. …

“When you watch a movie and you see people cry for happiness, I never Haven’t cried for happiness. Life. So when I cry for happiness, you know it’s true. It’s a surreal moment that I’ll treasure forever. Think I don’t know where Utah is, right now It stayed in my life forever. It’s an amazing story.”



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