This past Saturday in the headliner of UFC 286, we saw the conclusion of a trilogy for the welterweight title. Former long-time champion Kamaru Usman (20-3) was looking to regain the title as he took on Leon Edwards (21-3, 1 NC) in London.
From the opening bell, this looked like a different Leon Edwards. Usman was able to bully Edwards around the octagon in their second fight. It took a last minute heroic head kick to win the title for Edwards. However, it felt like Edwards was in control of this fight.
A steady diet of leg kicks and body kicks kept the former champion at arms length. That said, Usman was still able to close the distance and get to some grappling exchanges. In the third round, Usman was able to land multiple takedowns and Edwards was docked a point due to grabbing the fence.
I gave Usman the second round and the third round was a 10-8 with the point deduction. That said, I gave Edwards the other three rounds so I scored the UFC 286 headliner 47-47. One judge saw it the same way but the other two judges gave Edwards the fight 48-46.
What’s next after UFC 286?
For years, it didn’t look like anyone would dethrone Kamaru Usman. He was truly the nightmare of the welterweight division. However, he’s now run into a guy that seemingly has his number regardless of how close their fights were. Despite that, Usman is bound and determined to get back to the welterweight title.
He will need to take a step back, but the UFC’s welterweight division is filled with compelling contenders. That said, there’s one name that jumps off the page. That name is former two-time title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
Wonderboy is coming off a big time stoppage win over Kevin Holland. He’s been wanting the Usman fight for a long time and now it seems like the perfect time to make the matchup for both men.