Leon Edwards edged previous Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 on Saturday, retaining the welterweight title at London’s O2 Arena in a nervy foremost occasion.
Edwards dethroned the dominant Usman in August, gorgeous the Nigerian-American with a head-kick knockout with one minute left on the clock, after being managed for almost all of the bout. That consequence adopted the pair’s 2015 conflict, which Usman received on factors with a cushty exhibiting towards the Jamaican-born Briton.
And so, followers had been left to guess this week whether or not Usman would have the ability to out-grapple his successor once more en path to victory, or whether or not Edwards may conjure a second of martial arts magic as soon as extra.
Ultimately, underneath the daunting dome of the O2 – which reverberated with each roar from the London crowd – the rivals rounded out their trilogy with their best contest by far.
Thirty-one-year-old Edwards, utilizing quite a lot of calf kicks, indirect kicks and physique kicks, appeared to tug forward in a tense first two rounds, earlier than the enjoying discipline appeared to degree out after Round 3. It was within the third body that Usman started to seek out his grappling type, whereas Edwards was docked a degree for holding the fence to face.
And Edwards appeared susceptible to dropping additional factors, as referee Herb Dean warned him about holding the glove of Usman, who additionally complained of a number of alleged kicks to the groin.
However, Edwards’ high quality held up the place his composure at instances faultered. Although a detailed fourth spherical left the consequence no clearer, the champion stood every time Usman was in a position to safe takedowns, earlier than Edwards produced a formidable remaining body at a vital juncture.
“Rocky” denied his challenger a number of takedowns, whereas intermittently stinging the 35-year-old with uppercuts and leg kicks, as Usman continued to press ahead in pursuit of a decisive second.
Ultimately, Edwards was named a majority-decision winner, with the judges’ scorecards studying 48-46, 48-46, 48-48.
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