"Everyone counted him out" – Israel Adesanya picks Leon Edwards' performance against Kamaru Usman as his choice for KO of the year

Israel Adesanya (left); Leon Edwards knocks out Kamaru Usman (right) [image courtesy of @chrisungerphotography/Instagram[
Israel Adesanya (left); Leon Edwards knocks out Kamaru Usman (right) [Images courtesy of @chrisungerphotography/Instagram]

Ahead of UFC 281, Israel Adesanya and the City Kickboxing team sat down with ESPN MMA. Adesanya shared that he believes Leon Edwards' knockout of Kamaru Usman was the best knockout of the year.

Speaking to Megan Anderson, Adesanya stated:

"As much as I love both [Usman and Edwards] guys, and it hurt, it was bittersweet, Leon's just the way it happened. The story leading up to that, getting fights pulled, scratched eye on Belal, no fights for so long, everyone counting him out."

He continued:

"Kamaru whooped his a** already, whooping his a** on the way to a victory and then the way that happened and then seeing Tim in the cage, just emotional. It was all beautiful so that would be my one. As much as that hurt me, that would be my KO of the year."

Edwards' knockout victory at UFC 278 was definitely the most shocking knockout of 2022. Not only was Usman dominating the fight up until the final minute, but he was also riding a 19-fight win streak, 15 of which came in the UFC. Edwards looked to be on the way to a decision loss before he landed a vicious head kick in the final minute of the fight.

Watch Israel Adesanya share his pick for knockout of the year below (starting at the 16:30 mark):

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Israel Adesanya shares plans for UFC 281 knockout

Israel Adesanya will look to defend his title for the sixth time at UFC 281. His opponent, Alex Pereira, holds two kickboxing victories over the middleweight champion, including the only knockout loss of his combat sports career. Adesanya recently shared his plan to knock Pereira out.

Speaking to TMZ Sports, the No.2-ranked pound-for-pound fighter stated:

"I want to be the first person he sees when he wakes up. I want to make sure I'm right in his line of sight so when he wakes up he's looking at me and then looking at the ref... That's how I see this fight going."

Adesanya has not been shy about sharing that this fight means more to him due to his history with Pereira. He will look to avenge his kickboxing losses, while Pereira will attempt to become the first middleweight to defeat Adesanya in a mixed martial arts bout.

Watch Israel Adesanya share his plans for UFC 281 below (starting at the 5:05 mark):

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Edited by Virat Deswal
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