Leon Edwards retains welterweight title with thrilling win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 in London
Eon Edwards retained his welterweight title with a sensational points victory over Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 in London.
Seven months after their stunning victory over The Nigerian Nightmare in Salt Lake City, the duo fought for the third time and this time in front of Edwards’ home fans at the O2 Arena.
In an action-packed fight, he was nervous throughout and Edwards had a point deducted in the third round for a closing hold.
That left him hanging in the balance as the fight wore on, but it was Rocky who got the majority decision, winning 48-46 on two of the maps with 47-47 on the other, to extend his unbeaten streak to 12 fights. .
“He didn’t have any takedowns, I was landing cleaner shots,” Edwards said. “I took his legs off.
“Thanks to Kamaru for being a great competitor. I couldn’t get the kick around his head. He had perfect defense. I was trying to set him up with kicks to the body and to the legs. legs.
“I know it was a close fight so I knew I had to land some cleaner shots. It didn’t land much on me. He was just under a lot of pressure.
On arguably the biggest night of UFC action in British history, Edwards landed sharp kicks to the legs and body throughout the fight, although it was his takedown defense that was perhaps the most impressive part of his game plan. Usman increasingly tried to work the pitch but, aside from the point deduction, Edwards was rock solid.
Usman put on a frustrated figure for the majority of the 25 minutes, complaining of low kicks on several occasions while Edwards was also booked for grabbing his opponents’ glove.
That wasn’t enough to stop Usman from falling to Edwards, after riding a 19-game winning streak, including a victory over Rocky in 2015. The 35-year-old insisted despite not having the intention to retire.
“I think I did enough to win the fight but I knew it was close,” he said after the fight.
“He had a great game plan. I always said from the beginning that we would see each other again and I have not finished. We’ll see each other again.
“I’ve always given him props for what he’s done. Lots of respect. London, you have a hell of a guy and a great champion.
On when he could return to the octagon, Usman added: “Not too long. I come back with my coaches. I’m one of those guys, I can’t sit still for too long.