Leon Edwards makes first defense of his title, defeats Kamaru Usman in front of home crowd at UFC 286
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us today, March 18, 2023, for UFC 286, going down live from the o2 Arena in London, England.
Headlining the event was a welterweight championship bout between Leon Edwards (20-3, 1 NC) and Kamaru Usman (20-2), the third time these two squared off inside the octagon.
Usman defeated Edwards in their first meeting back in December of 2015, handily winning all three rounds of the affair. They’d both done a considerable amount of winning since then, and going into their rematch at UFC 278, Edwards was on a ten-fight win streak, while the champion Usman came in having won his last 19-straight.
Following a dominant first round for the challenger, Usman would absolutely dominate the second, third, and fourth rounds, as well as the majority of the fifth, up until he was caught with that vicious head kick that KO’d him stiff with just 56 seconds left on the clock.
Now nearly seven months later the two clashed for the title once again.
Continue reading to see how this championship trilogy went down:
Official Result: Leon Edwards def. Kamaru Usman via majority decision (48-46 48-46 47-47)
Just like their rematch, Edwards looks incredible to open up the fight. He lands a heavy leg kick early on and continues to land it throughout the round. Edwards also lands a pair of back-to-back body kicks that landed with a lot of power.
Usman attempts a takedown along the fence, though he’s unsuccessful with it and they go into round two.
Usman opens up the second with a tenacious pace, and two minutes in he eats a thunderous knee right to his face. It rocks him, but he regains his composure quickly and lands a nice right cross that stuns Edwards shortly following. He then secures a double leg along the fence.
Edwards blatantly holds the fence to avoid a takedown midway through round three and Herb Dean takes a point from him. He also lands a low blow about a minute later but finds his accuracy and lands some heavy body kicks following.
The middle stretch was very competitive, but the point deduction could cost Edwards.
Usman keeps his heavy pressure into the fourth round, though this round too is very competitive.
Edwards is getting his kicks off, following many of them up with crisp punches, and Usman is right in his face throwing back. Usman secures a momentary takedown in the fourth, though he’s unable to keep Edwards grounded.
Edwards has a very good start to the fifth and final round, landing beautiful knees up the middle, and he continues using his variety of kicks effectively. Usman takes him down momentarily once again, but again in unable to remain on top.
At the end of the bout, the significant striking totals were 106-73 in favor of Edwards.
Leon Edwards’ takedown defense improved immensely over these last several months and it really showed tonight at UFC 286, where she made the first defense of his UFC welterweight championship.
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.