Updated: Sep 18
August 20, 2022. Leon Edwards made a comeback for the ages defeating the undefeated UFC Welterweight champion of the world, Kamaru Usman, in the last minute, after being dominated for almost 5 rounds. Thus, stopping the unstoppable win streak of the Nigerian with a legendary left kick and fulfilling his dream to win the gold.
But what does this incredible Cinderella story have to do with Clean Air and Sustainability? Read more and you’ll be amazed. Or you can listen to the audio version: here
Start with this clip (or, if you are particularly sensitive, perhaps it is better to skip directly to the next paragraph 😉
It’s not over until it’s over
More often than not we hear tragic announcements of how many years we have left to revert climate change. And especially, how many days to turn down temperatures, feeling like a giant countdown hanging over our heads waiting for us to fail and let the world go down the drain forever.
Let’s take a nice and big breath and remember we still have time, resources, and efforts to take action, preserve the environment and save our beloved planet and human race. Together we have reached the moon. If we collaborate and use our brains and strength together, nothing can stop us.
Just like Leon Edwards was “resigned to losing a decision” from what experts said, and still pulled off a final upset to win the gold, we have until the last second to come up with our best magic trick and save the situation.
Better air, better cardio, better chance to win
Imagine if, in this epic 25-minute match, Leon only had cardio to go 24.
It doesn’t sound so bad, but it would have prevented him from winning in the last 60 seconds.
And while training is a big part of preparation, other causes like indoor and outdoor air pollution could have stopped him in his tracks.
Not only his physical capabilities would have been affected: For every 10-microg x m(-3) increase in PM(10), performance can be expected to decrease by 1.4%.
Also his cognitive abilities, just like chess players: for every moderate increase of PM2. 5 (10 micrograms per cubic metre of air), chess players are 2.1% more likely to make a significant error.
Had Leon chosen a different move than the legendary left kick, we would probably be in a different timeline now.
Listen, stop feeling sorry for yourself
The inspirational part of this comeback is surely between rounds, where Leon’s coaches try to make him stay in the fight. You can clearly see the tone of voice change between rounds, reaching its climax before the final one: “Listen, stop feeling sorry for yourself”.
This story reminds us how the coach, the sensei, the master, must be both kind and gentle, but also has to give us a wake-up call, maybe in a strong way when we need it.
Likewise, in our efforts to combat climate change, we need a multifaceted approach.
Compassion and understanding are essential when helping individuals and communities make sustainable choices.
We must acknowledge the challenges people face and provide the resources and support necessary for change. But, as Edwards' coaches demonstrated, there are times when a more forceful message is required to break through inertia and inspire action.
Conclusion: the comeback we can achieve together
In a world where comebacks happen on the canvas of a UFC octagon and in the arena of global challenges, the spirit of resilience remains our most potent weapon. Leon Edwards' epic comeback serves as a timeless reminder that, when faced with adversity, we can rise above and triumph.
The fight for clean air, sustainability, and the protection of our beloved planet is one of the most significant challenges humanity has ever encountered. However, just like Edwards' victory, it's a fight we can win if we listen, take action, and harness our collective strength.
So, let's take that nice and big breath, not just for ourselves but for the world. Let's remember that it's not over until it's over, and together, there's nothing stopping us from achieving an epic comeback for the ages in the battle to safeguard our home, the Earth.
Start the impossible. Now.