After Edwards (19-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) won the welterweight title from Usman (20-2 MMA, 15-1 UFC) with a stunning headbutt in the fifth round on Saturday UFC 278 headliner at Vivint Arena, a whole new world of opportunities has opened up for promotion in England.
The UFC has never held a stadium event on Edwards ground, but White admits there is serious temptation to host the rubber match at Wembley Stadium in London, which has a capacity of about 90,000 people. Historically, however, White has been very resistant to outdoor venues, and that hasn’t necessarily changed.
“How don’t you – f*ck, Wembley,” White told MMA Junkie and other reporters after the fight at the UFC 278 post-fight press conference. don’t know. Yeah (I want to do it in England). … We could go to England whenever we feel like now. We could go to England – we used to sell England. Now look at you, do you do a bigger arena? I’m scared to go out, and I’m really scared to go out in England. I’m serious, but I’m joking about England. Everything is now possible in England. It would be fun, but it’s scary at the same time. The weather is not the best in England.
Luckily for White, the promotion will have some time to figure out the best way forward. Usman will likely face a significant medical suspension after such a violent knockout, and with the UFC schedule already booked for the first month of 2023, White said there was not necessarily a rush to pin something down. .
“I don’t think (Edwards) would have to sit and wait anyway because of the knockout,” White said. “I don’t think he would have to wait that long. He should go back to camp and start training anyway. First we need the date. We’re all sold out until – I think we’re sold out until January now. There will be no waiting for him, even if it is a rematch.
White said Edwards’ title-winning knockout was another reflection of the crazy and unpredictable nature of MMA. He thought Usman was on track to record another title defense, but in the blink of an eye, everything changed.
“You think about everything that was at stake for Usman tonight, and Usman fought with absolute, utter confidence all night long,” White said. “He fought the perfect fight. It might not be the most fan-friendly style, but it was landing big body shots, big head shots, elbows. I couldn’t have fought a more perfect fight until the last minute.
“That’s how crazy this sport is. This is what makes this sport the greatest sport in the world. That you can sit out for four rounds and four minutes and that can happen in a fight. Everything is possible in this sport. Every time we do a fight and it’s like, ‘This is lopsided, one-sided fucking – there’s no lopsided, one-sided fighting in this sport. Everything is possible. I told you this week, the problem with this fight is that people won’t give Leon enough credit and he’s a very dangerous opponent. Wow.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s Event Center for UFC 278.