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Leon Edwards can't quite put his finger on what happened in the rounds that preceded his come-from-behind knockout of Kamaru Usman at UFC 278. The new welterweight champion came out strong in the opening round, even scoring the first takedown of Usman in his UFC career. But as the fight dragged on, Edwards did not seem to have it going for him anymore as he was likely heading to a decision loss.

Fighting at elevation in Salt Lake City appeared to take a toll on a number of fighters that night, including Edwards.

"When we went out there, after the first round, I can't explain it, my body just shut down. It was just a weird feeling. It wasn't cardio, it was like my body just wasn't reacting. In my head, I could think what I wanted to do, but my body just wasn't doing it," Edwards told the "MMA Hour" on Monday. "My 10 fights I had to get to this point to fight for the championship, I never looked like that in a fight, ever. Even when I was fighting, I was looking ahead like, 'Man, what the hell is going on? Just keep pushing. I know he's crafty and the body is feeling it, but just keep working and stay focused. It's never over until it's over.' I stayed in there and got the clean head kick KO.

"If my body was reacting the way it was in the first round, the fight would have gone a totally different way. The first round, I felt normal. Then after that, my body just kind of shut down on me."

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Edwards cornermen were pleading with him to wake up and get in the fight. Edwards' head trainer Dave Lovell screamed "You got to stop feeling sorry for your f---ing self!" Edwards dodged judgement in the final minute of Round 5 when he uncorked a hellacious head kick that knocked Usman out cold. 

"I was getting worried, for sure -- 100 percent," Edwards said. "The moment was so big for me, and it's just my luck for that to happen. I thought, 'Man, there's no way this can happen, that it can play out like this.' I said it all week, I feel like this is my moment. God brought me to this point to make this happen. That's what kept playing in my head, there's no way God brought me here for this just to go to a decision and finish like this. I had to just stay focused and listen to my team. Great motivation. They knew how to press my buttons, and they kept me in there and got the finish.

"That's one of my worst performances ever in my career. To have my worst performance in the biggest moment of my life, it's hard to explain how you feel mentally. It's like what the f---. Come on. How is this playing out like this? It was difficult to go through, but it is 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 my worst day."

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Usman, Edwards and UFC president Dana White all agreed after the fight that a rubber match should take place in Edwards' home nation of England. Just when is the question as the promotion gets ready to set up its 2023 calendar.

"It's absolutely what's gonna happen next. I've talked to Dana [White], and we're gonna see. I'll let him do his job, and we're gonna see what date makes sense. It's gonna be top of next year. I was gonna try and squeeze one in this year, but it'll probably be the top of next year, and I want to go to England," Usman told TMZ. "I've been feening to go to England. I feel like England is my second home now, and England is half Africa. People don't know that, but it's half Africa, so it's time to go over there and entertain my English people, and what better story? You couldn't write this any better. So I'm excited to see what's next, and we will definitely figure something out."

Usman praised Edwards' fatal blow but described the come-from-behind knockout as a Hail Mary blow.

"It was a great shot," Usman said. "A great shot. I'm talking Hail Mary in the Super Bowl, last 10 seconds, that was a great shot. Hats off to Leon."