Englishman Leon Edwards defended his welterweight title winning a hard-fought majority decision over former champion Kamaru Usman in London, Saturday, at UFC 286. It was their third meeting with Usman capturing a decision in 2015 and Edwards lifting Usman’s title last year with a final round miracle head kick knockout.
This time, Edwards didn’t need the miracle finish but it was still close. He started well in the first fighting southpaw and landing hard left roundhouse kicks to the body and leg. Usman clawed his way back over the next three rounds with takedowns but he had to work for all of them and could never hold Edwards down for long. The judging was all over the place with no agreement on who won those middle rounds. A one point deduction from Edwards for a fence grab in the third made the scoring even more convoluted.
Edwards landed some blistering punches and kicks early in the last round while fending off several takedown attempts before Usman briefly got him down. But the champion’s strikes were enough to win him the fight by scores of 48-46, 48-46 and 47-47.
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Black Belt Magazine
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