Leon Edwards takes his gaming to the next level with an impressive win over Kamaru Usman

Heavyweight champ Leon Edwards erased all doubts about his place at the top of the sport with a victory over former champ Kamaru Usman on Saturday at UFC 286. (Photo by Jeff Butari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

On the night of 2019 when he scored an impressive victory over Gunnar Nilsson, a fighter whose style was wrong for him, Leon Edwards’ moment was stolen when he Jorge Masvidal walked away from an interview and hit Edwards with a combination He called it “Three Pieces and a Soda”.

The video went viral, helped make Masvidal an even bigger star and eventually led to his rise Nate Diaz fought for the alleged BMF title At Madison Square Garden in New York.

Edwards lost in the dribbling. Since there were so many people around him, he was unable to react. Masvidal punched him and then trash-talked him during an interview with ESPN’s Laura Sanko.

Edwards had just defeated Nelson, a highly regarded submission player, but most of the post-fight talk about him focused on Masvidal cracking him on the chin. Edwards had to He overcomes a lot in his young lifeincluding the murder of his father when he was just 14 years old and living on the streets in Jamaica where drugs and violence were everywhere he turned.

Things seemed to be going against him everywhere but in the cage, where all he did was win. He had to sit out two years due to injuries and the pandemicthen after returning he spent another 14 months on the sidelines.

but now, After defeating Kamaru Usman by majority decision in the main event of UFC 286 On Saturday at the O2 Arena in London, England, the skeptics had nothing left to say. Skeptics, if they still exist, are willfully ignorant.

This is the man who hasn’t lost since he dropped his decision in favor of Usman in 2015. Since then, he’s racked up 11 straight victories and cemented his status as the best welterweight in MMA with a pair of victories over Usman in a seven-month span.

He channeled a card at his adopted home in England and not only sold out the venue with 17,588 fans in attendance, he set an O2 gate record. UFC President Dana White said the $8.6 million paid gate was four times better than any UFC show in England previously.

The judges scored it 48-46 twice and 47-47 for Edwards, giving him a majority decision after seven months The head kick heard around the world knocked Usman out cold in the final seconds of UFC 278 in August. 20 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 18: (L to R) Leon Edwards of Jamaica punches Kamaru Usman of Nigeria for the UFC Welterweight Championship during the UFC 286 event at The O2 Arena on March 18, 2023 in London, England.  (Photo by Jeff Butari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Leon Edwards’ hitting, including his kicks to the legs and body of Kamaru Usman, was a mystery the former champ didn’t really solve Saturday at their UFC 286 bout in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Butari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Osman was still a strong favorite in the rematch, but Edwards brought out the stars and did the job with a talented performance. Without deducting a point for capturing the cage, Edwards would have won four of the five rounds on two cards and three of the five on the others.

It was his moment at last, as he was welcomed into the cage like an undefeated hero by the lovable home fans. During the fight, fans chanted “Head kick! Head kick! Head kick”, urging him to finish it off in style again.

Edwards was overwhelmed next, when he talked about his moment in the sun.

“She meant the world to me,” Edwards said. “To be able to overcome a lot in my career, I took the hardest way to get here. I feel like you all know that, but I took the longest way to get here. To finally be able to earn my respect the hard way, knowing that nobody gave me anything, that’s Much more satisfying for me and my team.”

He’s clearly one of the best fighters in the sport right now, and that can’t be argued. Perhaps after the KO of the head kick to Usman, there was an argument given that Usman had dominated long periods of that bout. On Saturday, though, Edwards convincingly shut down that argument.

He nullified Osman’s grappling—Osman landed only four of his 15 takedown attempts and didn’t do much with them—and connected an astonishing 74 percent of his uppercuts. Usman was only in the fight in the fifth round because he is one of the all-time greats and has an insatiable will to win. Many of the rounds were close, but Osman proved himself to be the best fighter from start to finish.

The only one of the day came from Edwards’ point of view when he followed White into the post-fight press conference. White told the media that Colby Covington would get the next shot. That didn’t sit well with Edwards, who noted that Covington hasn’t fought since defeating Masvidal on March 5, 2022 in Las Vegas.

Edwards wanted to get his hands on Masvidal, not because Masvidal had a shot but because of that “three bars and a soda” of 2019.

“I just don’t like him,” Edwards said of Masvidal. “I think he’s weird… The only reason I gave him the title shot is because I don’t like him… It’s an easy fight for me… He’s just a weirdo.”

Edwards has proven himself to be a champion. He defeated one of the best players to do so twice in a row and there was little debate as to the outcome of either.

For those who still doubt Edwards, remember this: This says a lot more about them than it could about Leon Edwards himself.

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