Kamaru Usman’s attempt to regain the welterweight title against Leon Edwards tonight, in the main event of the UFC 286 at the 02 Arena in London is about to begin, as the former champion looks to avenge his knockout loss last August.
Jamaican-born Edwards knocked out Usman in stunning fashion in August, taking the belt from the Nigerian-American to become Britain’s second ever UFC champion.
For Edwards, the result also marked revenge for a point loss to Usman in 2015, meaning tonight’s main event will round out a trilogy between the pair.
ROUND ONE: Edwards lands left hand!
Confidence-boosting start for Leon Edwards as he lands a nice shot with his left hand.
Kamaru Usman swings with a leg kick but misses but both are just sizing each other up in these early stages.
Good right hand by Usman followed up by a jab but two heavy kicks by Edwards has Usman unsteady on his feet and the crowd roar with encouragement. Those definitely hurt him.
Superb start by Edwards who clearly unsettled Usman with some heavy body kicks. Close round but Edwards looked to have edged it.
ROUND TWO: Usman takes Edwards Down
Edwards lands a shot to the groin and Usman pauses. Edwards’ speed is giving his opponent some real issues.
Edwards lands a really clean knee but Usman responds with some hits to the body.
Usman gets in close and goes in for the takedown. Edwards is down in the corner but manages to break himself free and is back on his feet before attempting a high kick. A busier round so far by Usman.
A big roar from the crowd at the end of this round. A slower round, although both landed some big shots and it felt like Usman worked his way back into it as the round went on.
ROUND THREE: ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ keeps ‘Rocky’ down
Usman gets Edwards down again early in round three before a time out is called for a fence grab by Edwards as he looked to get himself back on his feet. Referee Herb Dean takes a point, which could prove crucial if this goes to decision.
Hard low kick by Edwards. Usman responds in kind. Again Edwards tags the former champion with a low kick.
Usman blocks a front kick to the body; Edwards then does the same.
Now we have another pause, as Usman complains that he was kicked in the groin and it seems to have landed there. Edwards is warned again.
More leg kicks by Edwards. Usman tries to stick him with the jab, but the champion is out of range.
ROUND FOUR: Usman trips!
Edwards times a leg kick as Usman comes forward, and the former champion trips and falls! There’s a scramble, before the pair stand and separate.
Nice body kick by Edwards followed by a good right cross from Usman.
Clubbing left hook from Edwards keeps the Nigerian off of him. Usman then gets another takedown against the fence.
Yet again, Edwards stands, and Usman will try again, unsuccessfully. He avoids an inside leg kick. Decent uppercut to the head by Edwards.
Nice right cross from Usman in response!
ROUND FIVE: Usman takes Edwards down again!
Usman manages to partially block a head kick. Tiredness is starting to show in both fighters but some big hits are still getting through as Edwards lands an uppercut before Usman responds with a shot to the body.
Usman attempts a takedown against the cage wall. Once again he’s denied.
A great left hook by Edwards, and a knee, and an elbow!
Again Usman goes to the well with a takedown attempt, and he gets it, he takes Edwards down!
Edwards breaks free and stands yet again!
Body kick by Edwards. Usman is denied another takedown.
And it’s over! We’ll go to the judges.
EDWARDS RETAINS BELT
The decision is in.
48-46, 48-46, 47-47. The winner by majority decision is Leon Edwards!
THE BRIT RETAINS! The UK crowd go wild