Leon Edwards Achieves Majority Decision Over Kamaru Usman To Defend His Welterweight Title
Leon Edwards managed to retain his welterweight championship title by defeating Kamaru Usman for the second time in a row.
Edwards won the belt in August by delivering a remarkable head kick in the final round. During UFC 286 in London, he had to rely on the judges’ decision, but he was declared the winner after the five-round fight.
In the first round of the trilogy fight, Edwards landed a left-handed punch while Usman started slowly and picked up the pace gradually.
Edwards also delivered a series of successful body kicks and managed to fend off Usman’s attempt to take him down against the cage. As a result, Edwards was able to narrowly win the first round.
THE BOYS ARE AT IT AGAIN! 😤 #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/rWK1tRfWn1
— UFC (@ufc) March 18, 2023
During the beginning of the second round, Usman focused on attacking Usman’s legs and even managed to stun him briefly with a knee to the head.
In response, Usman landed a right-handed punch and succeeded in taking Edwards down to the mat. Nonetheless, during the first ten minutes of the fight, it was Edwards who exhibited more precise striking techniques.
In the third round, Usman managed to secure another takedown and gain momentum. His chances of winning were boosted when Edwards was penalized for holding onto the cage, which could have turned the fight in Usman’s favor.
🚨 ENTERING CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS 🚨 #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/fibeKBH8gL
— UFC (@ufc) March 18, 2023
In round four of the fight, Edwards demonstrated his exceptional ability to defend takedowns while also targeting his opponent’s legs.
The final five minutes were crucial, as Edwards attempted a head kick, which Usman managed to block. He then redirected his focus towards attacking Usman’s body in an effort to end the match on a high note.
Usman executed a successful takedown in the final 90 seconds of the match, but Edwards quickly regained his footing and ultimately won the contest with scores of 48-46, 48-46, and 47-47 from the judges.
AND STILL!!! LEON SILENCES THE DOUBTERS!!!! #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/kPEEGQChss
— UFC (@ufc) March 19, 2023
Post Fight Comments
“He didn’t get any takedowns and I was defending multiple of his shots. I want to say thank you to him, he’s been a great competitor. I was trying to get the head kick, but fair play to him because he had perfect defence,” Edwards.
What’s Next For The Champion?
Dana White confirmed during the post-fight press conference that Colby Covington (17-3) will be next in line for a shot at Edwards’ 170-pound strap.
Covington attended the fight and also cut weight to serve as an alternate in the even that one of the main event athletes could not compete.
With his only recently losses coming from Usman during his title rein, Colby is ranked #2 in the division, and is certainly the right man to get the next attempt at achieving welterweight gold.
Dana White says Colby Covington will fight for the title next “no matter what” happens between Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns 🏆 #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/Bd1MouGDOh
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 19, 2023