Edwards fought through the edge of defeat to knock out Kamaru Usman at UFC 278. With just under a minute remaining in the action, he landed a head kick that immediately knocked Usman unconscious.
Edwards had a long journey to the UFC belt. He won nine fights in a row but powered through a series of fight cancelations and other circumstances over the past couple of years en route to his win over Usman.
Now that Edwards is just beginning to enjoy the fruits of his labor and newfound fame and fortune, he believes it’s essential to stay true to himself amidst all the chaos that comes with becoming a UFC champion.
Leon Edwards Wants To Remain True To Himself Following Title Win
During an appearance on The MMA Hour, Edwards was asked about the post-fight embrace of him in the UK and spoke about why he’s become such a big hit in his home country.
“It’s amazing. I knew that going into the fight. In the real world, I can feel the love. When I’m in Birmingham, in the UK, people come up to me, even kids, and say what I mean to them. I can feel the love,” Edwards said. “It’s all on social media and the internet where it’s all like, it’s fake, you know? But I connect to the real people… I’m from the trenches. I can relate to the way they grew up and the situation they’re in.
“I’m real, I’m as real as they come. I don’t have to create a character and be someone else that I’m not,” Edwards continued. “If I be myself, I can achieve this. It’s better doing it like this, more than creating a character. It’s hard to relate to a character. You can only relate to someone that’s real, down to Earth, and true to themselves.”
In the lead-up to UFC 278, Edwards accused Usman of letting the money get to his head. Usman denied the notion that he had changed during his title reign into something unrecognizable.
Edwards will likely face Usman once again in a trilogy matchup next, and he feels that it’s important to ring in the changing of the guard by continuing what helped get him to the pinnacle of the sport.
Want to suggest a correction or provide other feedback? Contact the editor at [email protected]!