Kamaru Usman has given his first interview after losing his welterweight title to Leon Edwards via a brutal head kick knockout at UFC 279 on Saturday night, and it seems he’s in remarkably good spirits and appears to be taking the defeat in his stride.
“It was a great shot, I’m talking Hail Mary in the Super Bowl,” a relaxed, smiling Usman told TMZ Sports. “That was a great shot, man.
“It’s not hard at all [to watch it]. Do you know how many people I’ve done that to? It happened, and that’s the beautiful thing about this sport — that happens, but we forget what was actually taking place in that fight. I’m not down at all. It’s almost like everyone is more sad about it than I am. Everyone else is more emotional than I am. To me, that lets me know that people care, that people are invested.
“I’m so gracious with just the time, and it sucks that the attention is from a defeat. I thought I was famous before, but f***, with the meme action going on, oh, I’m famous now.
“It just creates hunger for the return, and I’m just excited for what’s next. I have a rare opportunity now to just inspire and motivate people that you can fall and get back up. I’m excited about it.”
Usman also made it clear that a trilogy fight with Edwards next is a no-brainer and he’d like to see it happen in England early next year.
“What else makes sense? I mean, look at the division. It’s absolutely what’s going to happen next. I talked to Dana and we’re going to see, let him do his job, and we’ll see what date makes sense. It’s going to be the top of next year.
“I was going to try to squeeze [another] one in this year, but I want the top of next year, and I want to go to England. I’ve been fiending to go to England. I feel like it’s my second home [because] England is like half Africa. People don’t know that, but it’s time to go over there and entertain the English people. And what better story? You couldn’t write this any better.”