When Leon Edwards knocked Kamaru Usman at UFC 278 in August to take the UFC welterweight title, many believed it was somewhat of a lucky shot. But there are likely not many doubters left after Edwards beat Usman again in the rematch at UFC 286 on Saturday.
In what proved a closely-contested fight that went for five rounds, Edwards showed to be a more prepared and hungry fighter. Two judges ruled the bout 48-46 in his favor, while the third judge viewed it as a draw.
Edwards had more strikes, delivering 123 compared to Usman’s 113, while also managing to dodge most of his opponent’s takedown attempts. Even when Usman successfully brought down Edwards on canvas, he failed to make it count.
“I knew I could go out there and take his shots,” Edwards said after the fight. “Even when he was pressuring, not much happened.”
This was an 11 straight win for Edwards, and he will soon have the opportunity to make it 12. UFC president Dana White already confirmed that Edwards would face former interim champion Colby Covington in his next title defense fight.
For Usman, this seems like a definite end of his reign in welterweight. He was the division champion since 2019, but it sure looks like he will have a hard time getting back on the top after two straight losses.