Leon Edwards defeats Kamaru Usman to retain UFC welterweight title

Ufc Leon Edwards Kamaru Usman

Leon Edwards, the welterweight champion, admitted to a poor performance in his previous fight against Kamaru Usman eight months ago. However, he redeemed himself and put on a much better performance at UFC 286. Edwards (21-3) successfully defended his UFC 170-pound championship in front of his home crowd at the O2 Arena in London, earning a majority decision on the scorecards. While two judges scored the five-round title bout 48-46 in favor of Edwards, a third judge scored it a 47-47 draw.

This time around, Edwards was composed and energetic, leading the dance for the most part. He even withstood Usman’s shots and maintained his calm throughout the match. Edwards outlanded Usman 123-113 in total strikes, and defended 11 of his 15 takedown attempts, making it difficult for Usman to keep him down or generate a significant amount of offense. While Usman had control time of five minutes in the fight, he accumulated only half of what he accumulated in their previous fight.

Usman acknowledged that he felt he had won the fight, but he praised Edwards and gave credit where it was due. Edwards, who was born in Jamaica and fights out of Birmingham, England, changed the complexity of the fight with his anti-wrestling tactics, making it difficult for Usman to execute his moves. He even used kicks to Usman’s body and legs to slow his aggression and occasionally landed left kicks to his head.

Despite Edwards’ massive mistake in the third round when he grabbed the fence during a takedown attempt and was penalized for it, he refused to let it affect his game. He continued to pepper Usman with efficient striking and eventually emerged victorious.

Edwards has several options for his next defense, including a grudge match with Jorge Masvidal, who was involved in a backstage scuffle with Edwards in 2019, and a potential fight with former interim champion Colby Covington, who was in London for Saturday’s contest and immediately started calling Edwards out. Edwards accused Covington of ducking him for years on his way up the UFC’s ranks.


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