Leon “Rocky” Edwards did not need movie magic to retain his welterweight title. In front of a boisterous hometown crowd, Edwards clearly outpointed Kamaru Usman to establish his credentials as a legitimate champion.
Edwards controlled the action from the opening bell, using leg kicks to keep Usman out of range and keeping the ex-champion from taking him down. He landed the better shots and outworked Usman, though a point deduction resulting from Edwards grabbing the cage made things close.
The body kicks were Edwards’ best tool, and Usman had nothing to stop them. While the former champion had success in spots, his activity wasn’t where it needed to be. If anything, Usman was overly concerned about Edwards repeating his decapitating head kick from their last fight.
When it was all said and done, Edwards was awarded a majority decision by scores of 48-46 twice, and 47-47.
With the win, Edwards moves to 21-3, winning his 11th straight fight and successfully defending his welterweight title.
Usman falls to 20-3, and is now on the first losing streak of his career.
UFC 286 full card results
Welterweight: Leon Edwards (c) def. Kamaru Usman via majority decision (48-46, 48-46, 47-47)
Lightweight: Justin Gaethje def. Rafael Fiziev via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
Welterweight: Gunnar Nelson def. Bryan Barberena via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 4:51
Flyweight: Jennifer Maia def. Casey O’Neill via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Middleweight: Marvin Vettori def. Roman Dolidze via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Featherweight: Jack Shore def. Makwan Amirkhani via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:27
Lightweight: Chris Duncan def. Omar Morales via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Lightweight: Yanal Ashmoz def. Sam Patterson via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:15
Flyweight: Muhammad Mokaev def. Jafel Filho via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:32
Featherweight: Lerone Murphy def. Gabriel Santos via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Middleweight: Christian Duncan def. Dusko Todorovic via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 1:52
Flyweight: Jake Hadley def. Malcolm Gordon via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:01
Flyweight: Joanne Wood def. Luana Carolina via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Lightweight: Jai Herbert vs. Ludovit Klein declared majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
Flyweight: Veronica Hardy def. Juliana Miller via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)