In the headliner of UFC 286, we saw the conclusion of a trilogy for the welterweight title. Undisputed champion Leon “Rocky” Edwards (20-3, 1 NC) was looking to show that his title victory was no fluke as he took on former champion Kamaru Usman (20-2).
When these two first fought, Kamaru Usman won the fight going away. They had their rematch last August for the welterweight title and from the opening bell, it looked like the fight would be different. Edwards was able to take Usman down and control him.
However, for the next three rounds, Kamaru Usman dominated. He looked like he was well on his way to his sixth successful title defense. Then, with one minute left in the fight, Edwards landed a perfect head kick that knocked Usman out cold to snatch the welterweight title from him.
Today, they are ran things back in London to see who really is the best welterweight on the planet.
UFC 286 Recap
The UFC welterweight title kicked off without a touch of the gloves. Usman takes the center and here we go. Huge low kick from Edwards starts his striking. Usman gauging the distance early on. Long jab from the champion. Body kick from Usman lands.
Edwards tries for a big combination but nothing lands. The champion lands a nice left as Usman comes in trying to engage the wrestling. Usman plotting forward here feinting shots. Low kick attempts from Edwards. Usman chasing here two minutes in.
Body kick from the champ. Usman upping the pressure now and lands a lead right. They clinch and Edwards lands a nice knee off the break. Right hand from Usman and now Edwards lands a huge body kick that hurt the challenger. Usman pushes forward trying to get it back.
Lead left from Usman and he shoots for a takedown. Edwards defends and they are back to striking. Another big body kick from Edwards and Usman tries to counter. The round ends and Edwards takes the first at UFC 286.
Entering the second at UFC 286 and Edwards starts with a low kick. Usman seems to be struggling with the range here in the opening round. Low kick from Edwards now. Usman trying to work his way on the inside but can’t land anything right now.
Big body kick again from Edwards. Inside leg kick now from Edwards. Usman is also struggling with the speed of Edwards. Big knee up the middle from Edwards and Usman looked a little wobbled there. Big starts for the champion.
Big right straight from Usman and that hurt Edwards. Immediate takedown from Usman and he’s beating on Edwards against the fence, but Edwards get back to his feet. Takedown attempt from Edwards but Usman reverses and gets top position.
Edwards get back to his feet and is able to separate. Body kick from Edwards now and Usman is just stalking him here. This is a much better second round for the former champion. The round comes to a close and I have it 1-1 after two at UFC 286.
Entering the third and this is anyone’s fight at this point. Usman immediate on the pressure to begin the third round. Edwards poking with kicks here and Usman shoots for a takedown. Big takedown from Usman and he lands a couple of nice shots.
Edwards gets back to his feet but Usman goes for another takedown but Edwards grabs the fence which causes him to lose a point. They are back to striking and Edwards is opening up his striking now with back-to-back big leg kicks.
Now a body kick lands for Edwards. Right hand from Kamaru Usman just lands. Huge jab from Usman snaps the head back of Leon Edwards. Another powerful low kick from Edwards. Edwards goes for another kick and hits Usman low which causes a pause in the action.
Edwards lands a huge knee right up the middle. Usman’s chin definitely wasn’t impacted by that first knockout loss. Big jab now from Usman and he’s upping the pressure. Right hand over the top from Usman and Edwards lands three straight low kicks. Another low kick from Edwards.
Body kick from Edwards. They clinch and Usman lands three straight huge shots. Takedown attempt from Usman and he has Edwards against the fence. The bell sounds and we head to the championship rounds. Very close round but that point could loom large.
Entering the fourth round and this could be 28-28 or Usman could be ahead at UFC 286. Usman right back on the pressure to start the fourth round. Lead left hook from Edwards. Powerful low kick from Edwards lands. Another good low kick from Edwards and here comes Usman.
Lead left and a right for Usman. Big left hook over the top from usman. Body kick from Edwards. Jab from Usman lands. Usman slips on a kick and Edwards tries to get on top, but Usman responds quickly and they are back to the feet. Low kick from the champion now.
Body kick from Edwards and he’s pulling away in the striking numbers here. Now a low kick from Edwards. There’s just not enough volume from Usman right now. Right hand from Usman and another low kick lands for Edwards.
Lead left hand from Edwards. Three straight left hands for Edwards. Right straight from Usman now and he chains it into a takedown attempt. He gets Edwards down briefly but the champion is right back to his feet. Nice jab now from the champion gains separation and the crowd roars.
Usman goes for another takedown and he’s deep on a single here. However, Edwards breaks away and they are back to striking. Lead uppercut from the champion. Glancing shot from Usman lands and the bell sounds. Entering the final round, this could be anyone’s.
Entering the final round at UFC 286 and I don’t think either man can feel comfortable with the scores. They touch gloves and here we go. Usman immediately starts with pressure and gets Edwards back along the fence. Edwards trying to move and lands a nice shot to get distance.
Head kick attempt from Edwards but Usman hits him with a right hand. Takedown attempt from Usman now. Edwards defends and they are back to striking. Left hand from Edwards and an uppercut. Right hand now for Kamaru Usman. Usman back on the pressure and Edwards lands an uppercut.
Elbow over the top from Edwards and now a stiff left straight from Usman lands. Takedown attempt now from Usman and Edwards is once again defending well. They break again and Edwards is bouncing. Low kick from the champion. Stiff jab now from the champion lands. Left hand from Usman.
Two minutes to go. Big knee up the middle from Edwards and a level change for Usman. Another takedown defended from Edwards. Usman swings wild and gets to Edwards legs. 90 seconds left and Usman gets a takedown, but once again, Edwards is right back up.
They break with one minute left. Low kick from the champ. Right straight from Usman and he’s right back on the takedown attempt. Clinch pressure for Kamaru Usman. Edwards can’t get away from him and this might be where they end the fight.
I stand corrected. They break with ten seconds left. Both men swing to the finish and these scores are going to be all over the place.
Leon Edwards def. Kamaru Usman via majority decision (48-46, 48-46, 47-47)