UFC 286 Results: Leon Edwards Proves He Isn’t A “Fluke” Champ
(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
— 19 March 2023

UFC 286 Results: Leon Edwards Proves He Isn’t A “Fluke” Champ

— 19 March 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

UFC 286 Results: O2 Arena, London (England)

Very rarely does a mixed martial arts champion defend their title as the betting underdog. And yet Leon Edwards just did. Given how the reigning welterweight king claimed his belt from Kamaru Usman during their first rematch at UFC 278, however, it was understandable. Slightly misguided, yes, but understandable.

This weekend, Edwards reminded everyone that his ascension to the throne was no accident (and on home turf, no less). Because people tend to forget: not only had Edwards been drilling the exact scenario that sent Usman to the shadow realm in the days preceding UFC 278, he also managed to weather the storm without taking an awful lot of damage up until that point

Oh, and then there’s the not-so-insignificant detail of becoming the first-ever opponent to officially secure a takedown against one of the promotion’s most accomplished wrestlers as a goddamn kickboxer (second depending on whether or not you’re Colby Covington-pilled). “Luck”? “Hail Mary”? Nah… that’s all Rocky.

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The main event opened in very reassuring fashion for anyone who’d place money on Leon Edwards. Measured jabs. A well-timed knee to the head that wobbled Usman. Setting up another potential bout-finishing head kick by repeatedly planting his shin against Usman’s body. Extremely commendable takedown defence (as well as a cheeky fence grab that cost the defending champ a point).

Kamaru Usman, on the other hand, seemed as though he was constantly struggling to find his rhythm. While there were glimpses of the former world-beating Nigerian Nightmare – outlanding in significant strikes to the head, occasionally snapping Edwards’ head back with a stiff jab; two distinct occasions wherein he imposed his dominance on the ground – it was almost as if their previous encounter had taken something crucial away from him.

From Round 3 onwards, Usman attempted to employ a familiar gameplan that had proven quite successful last time. Control the Octagon, bully Edwards towards the fence, take his legs out from under him, and grind him down. Thankfully for Edwards, he was able to stand his ground, chipping away at Usman with body and leg kicks – thereby forcing the latter to reconsider advancing forward too hastily – as well as shrugging off a good deal of the takedowns.

UFC 286 Results: Leon Edwards Proves He Isn't A "Fluke" Champ
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 18: (R-L) Leon Edwards of Jamaica kicks Kamaru Usman of Nigeria in a lightweight fight during the UFC 286 event at The O2 Arena on March 18, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

By the conclusion of the final round, it was a convincing Majority Decision victory for Leon Edwards: 48-46, 48-46, 47-47.

“I was landing cleaner shots, I took out his legs,” Leon Edwards said during his UFC 286 post-fight interview.

“It was the hardest fight to this day and I want to thank you for being a great competitor.”

“I think I did enough to win the fight but I knew it was a close fight,” said Karamu Usman.

“Great game plan. I’ve always said it from the start, I knew I would see Leon again. I’m not done. I’ll see him again. I’ve always gave him props for everything he’s been able to accomplish. Much respect.”

The real question now is how will Leon Edwards fare against someone like the intentionally-controversial firebrand that is Colby Covington.

“That man sat out for a like a year and a half or two years. He ain’t fought nobody,” Edwards said of Chaos Covington.

“I might take a little trip to Miami [for UFC 287] and see what those two welterweights are going on with and see what’s going on there.”

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UFC 286 Results (Main Card)

  • Leon Edwards defeats Kamaru Usman by Majority Decision (48-46, 48-46, 47-47)
  • Justin Gaethje defeats Rafael Fiziev by Majority Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
  • Gunnar Nelson defeats Bryan Barberena by Submission (Armbar) – 4:51 | Round 2
  • Jennifer Maia defeats Casey O’Neill by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Marvin Vettori defeats Roman Dolidze by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29028, 30-27)

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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