Leon Edwards retains the UFC welterweight title by defeating Kamaru Usman
LONDON — Leon Edwards retained his welterweight title on Saturday, Defeat challenger Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 by majority decision.
The judges scored a three-way fight at the O2 Arena in London 48-46, 48-46, 47-47 in favor of the Jamaican-born Briton, who landed the cleanest blows as their third fight went the distance.
Edwards got off to an encouraging start, connecting with two heavy kicks in the opening round.
The speed of the 31-year-old Edwards destabilized Usman, but the challenger drove Edwards down briefly in the second round before both fighters traded some solid blows.
Osman wrestled Edwards to the ground again early in the third and pinned the latter on point to grab the fence.
A similar pattern unfolded in the fourth, which was just as tight, with Edwards looking to keep his distance while Osman tried to close in.
Edwards evaded two more takedown attempts in the final round and caught Usman with an uppercut, but was hurt to the body as his title defense fell.
Edwards would end Usman’s long reign as champion with a kick to the head and neck of the Nigerian in the fifth round in Salt Lake City in August at UFC 278.
This was their third meeting, more than seven years after the first battle, in which Osman won.
“I think I did enough to win the fight,” Osman, 35, told BT Sport after Saturday’s defeat. “I have not finished yet.”
Osman described Edwards as a “great hero”.
American Justin Gaethje defeated Rafael Fizeev in the lightweight category by majority decision 29-28, 29-28, 28-28.