A welterweight championship trilogy bout headlined Saturday’s UFC 286 fight card at the O2 Arena in London, England. Champion Leon Edwards put his title on the line for the first time against the man he took it from, Kamaru Usman.
Usman defeated Edwards in their first meeting back in 2015, but Edwards avenged the loss in dramatic fashion. Behind on the scorecards, Edwards delivered a head kick in the final minute of the UFC 278 main event last August that rendered Usman unconscious.
The two did not touch gloves. Usman pressured Edwards. He landed a right hand. Edwards connected with a counter right. Edwards delivered back-to-back heavy kicks to the body of Usman. Usman pressed forward with punches and changed levels working to get the fight to the ground. Edwards defended the attempt. Referee Herb Dean wanted Edwards about putting his fingers inside Usman’s glove. Edwards targeted the lead leg of Usman. They exchange words at the end of the round.
Usman came all the way across the octagon and the referee made him go back to his corner and then started the round, although the clock was already running. Edwards landed a low blow on Usman but the fight was quickly restarted. Edwards delivered two hard leg kicks. Usman continues to pressure Edwards. Edwards connected with a knee. Usman landed a clean right hand. He changed levels and secured a takedown. Edwards stood but Usman delivers a series of punches. Edwards looks to get the fight to the ground. Usman successfully sprawled. Edwards worked his way back to his feet and the two separated. They exchanged leg kicks. Usman applied a lot pressure in the closing seconds of the frame and connected with a combination.
It’s certainly a different fight than their last meeting. Edwards continued to target the legs of Usman. Usman secured a single-leg takedown. Edwards scrambled to his feet but grabbed the fence and the referee took a point.
Edwards went back to delivering leg kicks. Usman answered with a stiff jab and a leg kick of his own. Edwards delivered another low blow to Usman. The fight was restarted and Edwards delivered a kick to the body. Edwards had landed 70-percent of his strikes up to the final minute of the third round. Usman clinched and delivered a combination that ended in a elbow. Usman clinched, but Edwards circled free at the end of the round.
Edwards continued to land leg kicks. Usman pressed forward as Edwards circled on the outside. Edwards stepped in with a left hand. They both threw leg kicks and Usman slipped. He immediately got back to his feet and clinched. Edwards pushed him away and delivered a kick to the body. Usman took Edwards down but couldn’t keep Edwards grounded. Edwards landed an uppercut. Usman worked to get the fight to the ground. Edwards corner told him that he won the round.
Usman pressed forward. Edwards nearly connected with a head kick. Usman closed the distance and pressed Edwards against the cage. Edwards separated and landed a clean knee. Usman again tried to get the fight to the ground. Edwards shakes off the attempt and delivered a leg kick. Usman gets Edwards to the ground but Edwards quickly gets back to his feet. Edwards landed a combination. Usman again presses him against the cage. Edwards gets free and the round ends.
The judges scored the fight for Edwards by majority decision. The scorecards read 48–46, 48–46, and 47–47.