Eoin Edwards retained his welterweight title with a sensational points decision over Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 in London.

Seven months after his stunning victory over the Nigerian Nightmare in Salt Lake City, the pair fought for the third time and this time in front of Edwards’ home fans at the O2 Arena.

In an action-packed fight, it was nervy throughout and Edwards dropped a point in the third round to grab the fence.

That left the bout in the balance as it went away, but it was Rocky who took the majority decision, winning 48-46 on two cards, 47-47 on the other, extending his unbeaten streak to 12 fights. .

“He wasn’t getting any takedowns I was landing cleaner shots,” Edwards said. “I took his leg off.

“Thanks to Kamaru for being a great competitor. I couldn’t get kicks around his head. He had great defense. I was trying to set him up with kicks to the body and legs.

“I know it was a close fight so I knew I had to land cleaner shots. He didn’t clean me up too much. He had a lot of pressure.”

On one of the biggest nights of UFC action in British history, Edwards landed sharp legs and body kicks throughout the fight, although it was his takedown defense that was the most impressive element of his gameplan. Usman increasingly tried to work the ground but, aside from the point deduction, Edwards was rock-solid.

Usman cut a frustrated figure for the majority of the 25 minutes, complaining of low blows on several occasions while Edwards was warned to grab the gloves of his opponents.

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It wasn’t enough to keep Usman, who was on a 19-fight winning streak dating back to a 2015 win against Rocky, from falling to Edwards. The 35-year-old insisted he has no intention of retiring.

“I think I did enough to win the fight but I knew it was close,” he said after the bout.

“He had a great game plan. I always said from the beginning that we would meet again and I didn’t. We would see each other again.

“I always gave him props for what he accomplished. great honor London, you’ve got yourself a hellboy and a great champion. “

As for when he might return to the Octagon, Usman added: “Not too long. I’ll be back with my coaches. I’m one of those guys, I can’t stay too long.”


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