Leon Edwards demonstrated that his previous victory over Kamaru Usman was no fluke by securing a majority decision in their third fight to conclude UFC 286 on Saturday.
Unlike their previous encounter, there were no last-minute dramatics, as Edwards put on an impressive performance throughout all five rounds, utilizing a wide array of kicks that continuously troubled Usman throughout the fight.
Although Usman had some notable moments, such as several takedowns, he was unable to generate sufficient momentum to sway the judges in his favor.
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When the bout concluded, the scores were 48-46, 48-46, and 47-47, with Edwards receiving the majority decision, despite one judge scoring the fight as a draw. This victory marks Edwards’ first title defense and extends his unbeaten streak to 12 consecutive fights.
During a post-fight interview, Edwards expressed confidence in his performance, stating that he landed cleaner shots and targeted Usman’s legs.
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He also acknowledged Usman’s disciplined approach, particularly in defending against head kicks, and thanked him for being a great competitor.
“I was landing cleaner shots, I took out his legs,” Edwards said when asked if he felt did enough to earn the win. “It was the hardest fight to this day and I want to thank you for being a great competitor.
“Clearly him and his coaches worked the defense for [the head kicks]. Fair play for him being disciplined all the way through the fight. I knew it was a close fight.”
Throughout the fight, Edwards exhibited confidence and precision with his strikes, including a punishing body kick that rattled Usman’s midsection. While Usman sought to close the distance, Edwards maintained distance with fast hands and a variety of kicks.