Leon Edwards retains the welterweight title with an exciting points win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 in London

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eon Edwards defended his welterweight title with a sensational points win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 in London.

Seven months after his overwhelming victory over The Nigerian Nightmare in Salt Lake City, the pair fought for a third time, and this time in front of Edward’s home crowd at the O2 Arena.

In an action-packed fight, it was tense throughout and Edwards had a point deducted for a fence hold in the third round.

That kept it balanced as the fight went the distance, but it was Rocky who made the majority decision, winning 48-46 on two of the maps and 47-47 on the other to extend his unbeaten streak to 12 fights .

“He wasn’t getting any takedowns, I was landing cleaner shots,” Edwards said. “I took out his legs.

“Thanks to Kamaru for being a great competitor. I couldn’t get the kick around his head. He had the perfect defense. I’ve tried setting it up with kicks to the body and legs.

“I know it was a close fight so I knew I had to land the cleaner shots. He didn’t land many clean on me. He just had a lot of pressure.”

In arguably the biggest night of UFC action in British history, Edwards landed sharp leg and body kicks throughout the fight, although it was his takedown defense that was perhaps the most impressive element of his game plan. Usman increasingly tried to work on the ground, but points deduction aside, Edwards was rock solid.

Usman looked frustrated for most of the 25 minutes, complaining several times about low hits, while Edwards was also cautioned for grabbing his opponent’s glove.

That wasn’t enough to prevent Usman from defeating Edwards back-to-back after he went on a 19-fight win streak in 2015 that included defeating Rocky. The 35-year-old insisted, despite having no intention of retiring.

“I think I did enough to win the fight, but I knew it was close,” he said after the fight.

“He had a great game plan. I’ve always said from the start that we’d meet again, and I’m not done yet. We’ll meet again.

“I’ve always given him props for what he’s achieved. Big respect. London, you’ve got a damn good guy and a great champion.”

Once he was able to return to the octagon, Usman added, “Not for too long. I’ll get back to you with my trainers. I’m one of those guys, I can’t sit too long.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/ufc/leon-edwards-kamaru-usman-ufc-286-london-b1068360.html Leon Edwards retains the welterweight title with an exciting points win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 in London

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