Leon Edwards bests Kamaru Usman once more to retain UFC crown

Leon Edwards had a powerful reply for critics of his Hail Mary victory final day trip, defeating his nemesis Kamaru Usman by majority resolution to retain his welterweight championship Saturday at UFC 286 in London.

Two judges scored it 48-46 for Edwards, whereas the third decide had it at 47-47.

It was a aggressive combat through which each fighters had their moments in each spherical. Edwards established himself within the first with arduous kicks to the physique and legs, however Usman received moving into Round 2, taking Edwards to the mat and touchdown some arduous pictures on the bottom.

Usman struck first within the third spherical, working a single leg earlier than scoring a takedown within the first minute. Edwards managed to get to his ft and moved towards the cage, however referee Herb Dean penalized Edwards some extent for grabbing the fence as Usman took his again. Edwards stepped up the tempo after the purpose deduction, hurting Usman with a number of kicks to the leg and physique within the last two minutes of the spherical.

Edwards continued to work the leg kicks because the fourth spherical opened, inflicting some swelling to develop on the within of Usman’s leg. Usman scored a takedown late within the spherical, however Edwards restricted the injury by rapidly getting again to his ft.

With the combat seemingly up for grabs within the last spherical, Edwards lastly went to the top along with his kicks and landed one other large shot along with his proper hand. Usman tried arduous to get Edwards to the canvas and received it with 90 seconds to go. But Edwards, as he did all through the combat, restricted the injury by rapidly escaping and getting again to his ft. Usman shot in once more within the closing seconds of the combat, however Edwards shook him off once more as the ultimate buzzer sounded.

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Saturday marked the third combat between Usman and Edwards, who was lower than a minute from positive defeat of their final assembly when he pulled off a surprising head-kick knockout to complete Usman at UFC 278.

Edwards (21-3, 1 NC) is unbeaten in 12 straight fights. He has not misplaced since Usman defeated him through unanimous resolution of their first combat in 2015.

Usman (20-4, 1 NC) had gained 15 consecutive fights within the UFC earlier than dropping his previous two to Edwards.