The top of the UFC 286 billing witnessed England’s own Leon Edwards retain his welterweight title by takin a majority decision over the former champ, Kamaru Usman.
Edwards got his strikes going right away, pumping his volume from range and stuffing the takedown attempts. The champion also landed a huge knee to the face in the second round that wobbled Usman, but he wasn’t able to capitalize on the moment. Thing got weird in the third when Edwards was deducted a point for a blatant fence grab to stop a takedown.
Usman rallied in the fourth, landing his jab and getting his boxing going. Then in the final round he was more grappling focused, which allowed Leon to return to his volume to rack up some strikes. All in all it was a pretty fun fight, and although we didn’t get many wow moments, the bout was highly competitive until the final bell.
Check out Dayne Fox’s play-by-play of Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman:
Edwards open the action with a kick to the thigh of Usman. Usman returns one about 20 seconds later. Lots of staring in the first minute. Edwards catches an uppercut as Usman looks to shoot. Usman back out into range. Leg kick from Edwards. Front kick from Edwards. Usman looking gun shy. Usman begins to chase but nothing lands. Edwards lands a knee in the clinch. Edwards keeping Usman at range with front and side kicks. Body kick from Edwards stumbles Usman. Usman recovers and lands a body shot to Edwards. Another kick from Edwards and Usman looks for a takedown against the cage. Edwards stuffs and spins off the cage. Edwards had his hand in the glove of Usman, so herb Dean creates a brief pause in the action to warn. They begin trading kicks when the action resumes. Edwards gets several kicks to the legs to end the round. 10-9 Edwards
Leon Edwards def. Kamaru Usman by majority decision (48-46 x2, 47-47): Welterweight Title
AND STILL!!! LEON SILENCES THE DOUBTERS!!!! #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/kPEEGQChss— UFC (@ufc) March 19, 2023
2️⃣5️⃣ minutes in the books!— UFC (@ufc) March 19, 2023
Drop those scorecards NOW #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/zPXEkDIpEC
For the final time, we go into the Edwards corner before a HUGE Round 5.— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) March 18, 2023
Can @Leon_EdwardsMMA do it again? #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/AfWm2CWNE3
IT'S TIME ⚡ #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/HIFqlDnPNC— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 18, 2023
THIS SHIT IS PERSONAL #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/hPD7onEiIp— UFC (@ufc) March 18, 2023
About the author: Eddie Mercado has covered combat sports since 2015. He covers everything from betting odds to live events and fighter interviews. He holds a 1-0 record in pro MMA and holds a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu. (full bio)