UFC 286 is finally in the rearview mirror and the hometown fighter reigned supreme. In the main event of the PPV, welterweight champion Leon Edwards had his first title defense against Kamaru Usman. Because his last win over Usman was a shocking one at UFC 278, Leon had to put up with the whispers of the win being a fluke. Hence, the third fight was extremely important for Edwards.
With his home fans behind him, Leon had a spectacular performance against Kamaru Usman. Even Usman himself admitted in the post-fight interview that Leon’s game plan was amazing. Question marks over Edwards’ takedown defense were looming large ahead of the bout. In their previous two encounters, fans saw that Usman almost took down Leon at will. But this time, Usman only landed 4 of 15 attempted takedowns.
A dream come true for @Leon_EdwardsMMA 🙌 #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/7kzCCDeqx1— UFC (@ufc) March 19, 2023
But whenever the bout hit the ground, Kamaru could not do any damage. Leon always got up and landed some great leg kicks and body shots. Although there was a 1-point deduction for fence grabbing, Leon still managed to win the bout via a majority decision. Two judges had it 48-46 and one judge scored the bout 47-47. So Leon can finally put the Usman saga to bed as he won the trilogy 2-1.
Dana White reveals Colby Covington will challenge Leon Edwards next
Leon Edwards was overjoyed after beating Kamaru Usman at UFC 286. The bout was close and the reaction to the result announcement from Bruce Buffer tells the story of how anxious the fans were. With this great win, Leon now has his first title defense, and that too against one of the greatest welterweight fighters of all time. But, it does not seem like Leon will have an extended celebration period.
During his post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White revealed that Leon will be fighting Colby next. He added, “Yeah, I don’t know when we will do it. But that’s the fight that makes sense. Colby came here, cut weight, and did everything to be here for this fight (and) he deserves the fight. Not to mention the fact that he is you know the second or third best guy in the world.”
Colby Covington surprised the fans as he showed up as the backup fighter for the UFC 286 main event. There were no prior announcements of Colby being the backup fighter. Hence, fans were delighted to see The Chaos show up in London. Although his services were not required on the night, Covington’s presence denoted that he might be next. So Dana’s comments just confirm the assumption.
Ahead of the fight, Conor McGregor also threw his name in the hat for a possible welterweight title fight. However, it looks like Conor does not feature in Dana White’s plan for the welterweight title picture. White also confirmed during the fight week that Khamzat Chimaev was moving to middleweight for his next bout. All these factors played a crucial role in paving the way for Colby to get the next title shot.
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