Leon Edwards won the trilogy fight against Kamaru Usman in UFC 286, proving that his first win against Usman was not a matter of luck. Edwards secured a majority decision victory, with the judges scoring the fight 48-46, 48-46, and 47-47. This is Edwards’ first title defense, and he remains unbeaten in his last 12 fights.
Edwards performed strongly in all five rounds, with an array of kicks that continuously troubled Usman throughout the fight. Despite Usman’s occasional moments of strength, including several takedowns, he was unable to gain enough momentum to sway the judges.
Edwards was confident throughout the fight, displaying quick and decisive strikes and keeping Usman at bay with a variety of kicks. Usman struggled to close the distance between them, and Edwards’ leg kicks also caused him some trouble. Edwards landed cleaner shots, and his ability to take out Usman’s legs played a crucial role in his victory.
Edwards was particularly successful with his kicking game, and he also displayed impressive takedown defense throughout the fight. Usman attempted several times to take the fight to the ground, but Edwards remained quick on his feet and was able to avoid being taken down.
In the third round, Usman scored an early takedown, but as Edwards attempted to work his way back up, he grabbed the fence in an attempt to prevent Usman from dragging him down again. This resulted in a point deduction for Edwards.
Towards the end of the fight, Usman continued to try and return the fight to his wrestling style, but Edwards kept him at bay with his kicking game. Despite Usman managing a late takedown, Edwards was able to shrug him off and keep throwing kicks to ensure his victory.
Although Usman was disappointed with the result, he accepted the defeat graciously and promised to come back stronger in the future.
With this second win over Usman, Edwards has moved beyond the rivalry and is now fully saddled with the reality of being a division champion and what he can do to preserve his status. His ability to secure his first title defense in a trilogy fight against a former champion is a testament to his skill and talent.