UFC 286: Edwards retains title by majority decision over Usman
LONDON (AP) — Leon Edwards retained his welterweight title on Saturday, defeating challenger Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 by majority decision.
The judges scored the trilogy fight at London’s O2 Arena 48-46, 48-46, 47-47 in favor of the Jamaican-born Briton, who landed the cleanest blows as their third fight went far.
Edwards made an encouraging start, connecting with two heavy kicks in the first round.
The greater speed of the 31-year-old Edwards unsettled Usman, but the challenger briefly took Edwards down in the second round before the two fighters traded big punches.
Usman grabbed Edwards to the ground again early in the third and the latter was docked a point for grabbing the fence.
A similar pattern unfolded in the fourth, which was equally tight, with Edwards looking to keep his distance as Usman tried to close in.
Edwards escaped two more takedown attempts in the final round and caught Usman with an uppercut, but took a hit to the body as his title defense fell to the wire.
Edwards had ended Usman’s long reign as champion with a fifth-round head and neck kick to the Nigerian in Salt Lake City in August at UFC 278.
It was their third meeting, more than seven years after Usman won the first fight.
“I think I did enough to win the fight,” Usman, 35, told BT Sport after Saturday’s loss. “I’m not finished.”
Usman called Edwards a “great champion”.
American Justin Gaethje defeated Rafael Fiziev in the lightweight division by majority decision, 29-28, 29-28, 28-28.
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