Leon Edwards earned a decision over Kamaru Usman at UFC 286

Leon Edwards (21-3) defeated Kamaru Usman (20-3) by majority decision to successfully retain the UFC Welterweight Title and win their trilogy fight from UFC 286 in the O2 Arena in London.

Edwards returned to the Octagon on Saturday for the first time since his last-minute knockout of Usman at UFC 278 in 2022 to lift the title. In this fight, Edwards started fast, was dominated in the middle rounds, and caught Usman with a headbutt that put him to sleep.

In this time’s main event, the first round started with Edwards circling Usman and the pair trading shots down the middle. Usman upped the pressure a bit mid-round, pushing him back while Edwards kept moving and throwing. Edwards attempted to injure Usman with a massive kick in the stomach, forcing the challenger to drop his hands and grab his ribs. Edwards followed up with another body kick before Usman went for a takedown. Edwards fought back, was caught holding Usman’s glove and was warned. He went to Usman’s body again before the end of the round.

Edwards continued to beat Usman in the second round with leg kicks, elbows and a large knee that appeared to injure the challenger. Usman buckled Edward’s knees with his right hand and then brought him down to the mat. Edwards struggled back to his feet and then tried to shoot himself for a takedown that stuffed it. Back on his feet, Usman pushed Edwards back again and chased him around the cage to complete the round.

The third opened up with Edwards chipping kicks against Usman’s leg before Usman brought him down for a takedown. Edwards got back up and, facing the cage, Usman tried to throw him to the ground but Edwards grabbed the cage. Referee Herb Dean stopped the fight to deduct a point from Edwards before resuming things face-to-face with them. Usman slammed Edwards with jabs and Edwards leg kicked back towards the well before catching the former champion with a groin kick. Edwards kept going deep, hitting Usman with kicks to his legs and body.

Edwards maintained his fast pace to open the fourth, moving and hacking away with lower-body kicks. Usman hit the mat after slipping on a kick, leaping onto Edwards for a takedown attempt, but the champion fought away and was out of harm’s way. Edwards immediately frustrated Usman with jabs, then the challenger earned a takedown. Edwards got to his feet and started punching again. The round ended with a consecutive unsuccessful takedown attempt by Usman.

The fifth round opened with both fighters active as they circled the cage. Edwards opened a headkick that was partially blocked by Usman, who responded with a takedown attempt. Edwards and Usman stood in the center of the cage and exchanged shots while Edwards landed a headbutt, jab and elbow. Usman went for another takedown, but Edwards fought back. Back in the middle, Edwards stabbed away and Usman attempted a short combo. Edwards returned to his low kick and then landed another big knee. Usman attempted a takedown and successfully defended again. Usman eventually earned a takedown with a minute and a half to go, but Edwards got to his feet with ease. A series of shots ended the round as the fight went to the decider.

The trilogy fight comes after a 2015 decision saw Usman hit before Edward’s 2022 KO win.

It took Edwards three years to get his first title fight, with five fights canceled, one fight decided in the second round (against Belal Muhammad) as a no contest, and one win in the only fight that mattered, a decision over Nate Diaz. Usman has been on a tear since winning the welterweight crown in 2019 when he picked up a decision win over Tyron Woodley, knocked out Colby Covington and later won a decision win, picked up a decision win and later knocked out Jorge Masvidal and knocked out Gilbert Burns.

Usman had previously said he plans to jump two weight classes into light heavyweight and it remains to be seen if he sticks with it to try and earn another shot at welterweight. Edwards now looks likely to be in for a showdown with Colby Covington.

https://uproxx.com/sports/leon-edwards-kamaru-usman-ufc-286-results/ Leon Edwards earned a decision over Kamaru Usman at UFC 286

Jaclyn Diaz

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