• Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

UFC 286: Edwards retains title by majority choice vs Usman


Mar 19, 2023

LONDON (AP) — Leon Edwards retained his welterweight title Saturday, beating challenger Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 by majority choice.

Judges scored the trilogy fight at the O2 Arena in London 48-46, 48-46, 47-47 in favor of the Jamaican-born Brit, who landed the cleaner blows as their third fight went the distance.

Edwards created an encouraging commence, connecting with two heavy physique kicks in the opening round.

The 31-year-old Edwards’ higher speed unsettled Usman, but the challenger took Edwards down briefly in round two prior to each fighters traded some heavy blows.

Usman grappled Edwards to the floor once more early in the third and the latter was docked a point for grabbing the fence.

A related pattern unfolded in the fourth, which was just as tight, with Edwards hunting to maintain his distance as Usman attempted to get in close.

Edwards evaded two much more takedown attempts in the final round and caught Usman with an uppercut, but took a hit to the physique as his title defense went down to the wire.

Edwards had ended Usman’s extended reign as champion with a kick to the Nigerian’s head and neck in the fifth round in Salt Lake City in August in UFC 278.

This was their third meeting, much more than seven years soon after the very first fight won by Usman.

“I consider I did sufficient to win the fight,” the 35-year-old Usman told BT Sport soon after Saturday’s defeat. “I’m not performed.”

Usman referred to as Edwards “a terrific champion.”

American Justin Gaethje beat Rafael Fiziev in the lightweight category by majority choice, 29-28, 29-28, 28-28.


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