Leon Edwards edged past Kamaru Osman also UFC 286 He defends his heavyweight title in a tense main event at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday.
Edwards dethroned the raiding Usman in August. Surprises Nigerian-American with knockout with header One minute left until the clock runs out after being checked for the majority of the match. This result comes after Usman’s 2015 duos match against the Jamaican-born Briton won by points in a comfortable show of grappling.
And so, fans are left to speculate this week whether Usman will again take down Edwards on his way to victory or whether his successor will once again create mixed martial arts magic.
But in the end, it would not be a dominant display or a deified strike; Edwards’ discipline—and sometimes lack of discipline—was decisive.
Under the eerie dome of the O2, which resonates with every hum of the London crowd, the competitors wrapped up their trilogy with their most competitive competition by far.
Thirty-one-year-old Edwards seemed to take a tense first two rounds lead before the playing field leveled off after Round 3, using a variety of calf, squat and body kicks. As Usman began to find his way of grappling, Edwards clamped down on a point to keep the fence afloat – but the champion also used effective defensive wrestling to get a fair footing in many situations.
In any case, Edwards seemed to risk losing more points, as referee Herb Dean had warned him to grab Usman’s glove, and he himself complained of multiple kicks in the groin.
However, Edwards’ quality continued where his composure at times broke down. While a close fourth round didn’t leave the result any clearer, Edwards produced an impressive final square at a crucial point.
While “Rocky” challenged the 35-year-old with intermittent uppercuts and leg kicks, refusing to take his opponent down more than once, Usman continued to push forward – with composure – in pursuit of a decisive moment.
Ultimately, Edwards was chosen as the majority decision winner, which read 48-46, 48-46, 48-48 on the judges’ scorecards.
In the co-main match, Usman’s teammate Justin Gaethje defeated Rafael Fiziev 29-28, 29-28, 28-28 in the night’s fight and took the right side of the majority decision.
Full UFC 286 results
Leon Edwards (c) def. Kamaru Usman by majority decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-48)
Justin Gaethje def. Rafael Fifiziev by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
Gunnar Nelson def. Bryan Barberena via first-round submission (crossbar, 4:51)
Jennifer Maia def. By unanimous decision, Casey O’Neill (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Marvin Vettori def. Roman Dolidze decided unanimously (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Jack Shore ‘did not want to participate’ in UFC 286 fight due to dad’s chemotherapy
Jack Shore def. Makwan Amirkhani via second-round submission (rear bare choke, 4:27)
Chris Duncan def. Omar Morales, by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Lateral Ashmoz defender. Sam Patterson by first-round KO (punches, 1:15)
Mohammed Mokaev def. Jafel Filho with third-round submission (rear bare choke, 2:42)
early qualifying rounds
Lerone Murphy def. Gabriel Santos by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Christian Leroy Duncan def. Dusko Todorovic by first-round TKO (knee injury, 1:52)
Jake Hadley def. Malcolm Gordon via first-round TKO (body punches, 1:01)
Joanne Wood def. Luana Carolina by split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Jai Herbert vs Ludovit Klein majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
Veronica Hardy def. Juliana Miller unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
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