Leon Edwards proved it was no fluke when he beat Kamaru Usman to win the welterweight title last year as he successfully defended the belt tonight at UFC 286 by majority decision.
The welterweight title main event is underway in London.
Nice leg kick from Edwards to start. Body kick from Usman. Edwards just misses on a choppy punch.
Edwards threatens with a hook as Usman was ducking in looking for a potential takedown. oblique kick from Edwards.
Glancing jab from Usman. leg kick for Edwards. Nice jab from Usman as he presses forward. Edwards with his jab too. Edwards just misses on a big hook.
Calf kick for Edwards. Usman paws out with his jab. Edwards misses on an oblique kick attempt and Usman land the jab.
Hard body kick from Edwards and Usman stumbled from that for a moment. Usman trying to get that back as he presses forward with more purpose but unable to land anything meaningful.
Usman strikes to set up a potential takedown against the cage, but Edwards defends it.
They break apart and Edwards is warned for holding his opponent’s glove after Usman complains. Both men looking to exchange now and Edwards is working to the body. Edwards landing low kicks and an oblique kick to end the round.
leg kick for Edwards. Usman with a body punch, but gets a shot to the groin at the same time. He’s ok to get back to it quickly though.
Body kick for Edwards. Inside leg kick for him. Jab for Usman. Another left hand for usman. Edwards with a knee to the head and Usman is wobbled for a moment, but then retaliates.
Jab for Usman. Straight right lands clean for Usman, his best punch so far. He land the right again and then is able to bring Edwards to the mat. Edwards battles back up and Usman lands punches as he presses him into the cage.
Edwards gets free and goes after Usman, but Usman gets him down again. Edwards waits for his moment and pops back to his feet.
Edwards lands a clean left hand. High kick attempt from Edwards, but Usman blocks it.
Calf kick for Usman. He lands a punch to the body as he keeps the pressure on. Kick lands for Edwards. Usman stomps to the knee.
Jab for Usman and Edwards fires back in the final 10 seconds. Front kick to the body for Usman.
Inside leg kick for Edwards. Another inside leg kick lands for him. Usman in on a single-leg attempt and snaps Edwards down to the mat nicely.
Usman in half-guard away from the cage. Edwards does a good job of scrambling back to his feet, but Usman clinches to the back and works for another takedown. However, Edwards is blatantly clinging onto the cage to prevent that.
Edwards gets his second warning from the ref after the glove grab earlier and now the cage grab that leads to him being deducted a point, which could prove crucial if this goes to the judges.
They get back to action in the center of the Octagon. leg kick for Edwards. Light front kick to the body from Edwards. Edwards lands a nice jab. Now a leg kick and Edwards responds with one of his own.
Another leg kick for Edwards after Usman missed one. Edwards with a kick that strays to the groin and forces another stoppage for Usman to recover, but he’s ok soon afterwards.
Edwards lands an inside leg kick that was close to the cup again, but the ref says it was legal.
Solid strike from Edwards. Nice punch to the body from Usman as he tries to continue to apply pressure. Low kick from Edwards. Usman pumps out the jab. Oblique kick from Edwards.
They clinch up, but quickly break apart. Body kick for Edwards. Usman grabs the neck and lands to the body and then an elbow upstairs nicely.
Usman drives Edwards into the cage. Edwards battles his way back out though.
Not much happening and then Edwards lands a leg kick. Another lands for him. Usman pressuring and tries to land a flurry, but Edwards is moving away quickly.
Usman backing Edwards up though. He partially lands with a jab. Both throw a kick at the same time and Usman slips and falls to the mat as they clash, but is straight back up and drives Edwards over to the cage, but can’t get a takedown of it.
Back to striking range in the center of the Octagon. Kick for Edwards. Body punch for Usman. Now a straight right for him.
Calf kick for Edwards. left hook for the champ. Solid jabs from Edwards as Usman presses forward.
Edwards looking to let his hands go again and Usman ducks under and lands a takedown. Edwards immediately escapes and Usman tries to grab him to prevent him getting upright. Edwards manages to do so though.
Edwards attacks. Usman tries to work another takedown against the cage, but again Edwards breaks away. Jab for Usman. Straight right from him grazes the target. He tries for a single-leg, but there’s not enough time to complete it.
Usman continually stalking Edwards. He works a couple of punches. Edwards tries for that big head kick, but it’s blocked.
Usman lookg to strike, but then works into the clinch against the cage instead. Edwards doing a good job of fending of these attempts though.
Edwards landing the left hand and the crowd cheers. One-two for Usman. Edwards with a punch and a knee to the body.
Edwards lands again, but then Usman goes back to pressuring and works for a takedown against the cage. Edwards takedown defense has been solid in this fight though and he breaks away again.
Leg kick for Edwards. Nice jab and then goes to the body with it. Calf kick for Edwards. Usman is stalking him, but not letting his strikes go.
Edwards steps in for another knee to the body. Usman working for another takedown against the cage and it’s fended off yet again.
Kick for Edwards. Usman tries to flurry but misses. 90 seconds to go. Usman grabs hold of a double-leg and does get Edwards down this time. Edwards able to stand again before he can land any offense though.
Edwards with a leg kick. Usman with a jab. Usman again trying to get the takedown. He settles for clinching against the cage for now.
30 seconds to go. Edwards lands a knee to the body and moves away. Leg kick for Edwards. Usman tries for a takedown and fails. Usman punches to the head and body in the final seconds.
A close fight then, and with Edwards being deducted a point in the third round it’ll be interesting to see how this one is scored.
The scorecards are in and it’s Leon Edwards who has done enough to maintain his grip on the title, winning by majority decision (48-46 x2, 47-47).
That’s a huge win for Edwards to prove he’s the rightful champion in front of his home fans, and it was a solid performance too, with accurate striking on the feet while showing off stronger takedown defense than beffore to foil Usman’s attempts to turn the fight in his favor.
So Edwards wins the trilogy by 2-1 and will likely go on to defend his title against another leading contender, potentially Colby Covington, next, but it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see him go up against Usman yet again at some stage in the future too.