Hear what fighters and fans had to say about Leon Edwards’ win over Kamaru Usman, which was much more competitive than the scorecards implied.
Leon Edwards defended his Welterweight title against Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 tonight (Sat., March 18, 2023) inside The O2 in London, England; however, his big win was not without controversy.
Edwards ran through a string of fouls on the way to an eventual point deduction in the third round because of an illegal cage grab. He also hit Usman with low blows and grabbed this inside of his glove, which triggered a hard warning from referee, Herb Dean.
But, even with the point taken away, “Rocky” still had his hand raised in a nail-biter of a decision. The judges scored the fight a majority decision with scores of 48–46, 48–46 and 47–47 (see official scorecard pic here).
Even though two judges gave Edwards four of five rounds on the card, Usman looked strong throughout the fight. When he managed to pin Edwards against the cage or canvas, he’d unleash a barrage of powerful punches that left their mark. But, Edwards was just too busy when the two were fighting on the feet, unloading an endless stream of kicks to Usman’s knees and stomach.
The much-feared headkick killshot never materialized, though.
There’s definitely going to be controversy following this fight as many felt that Usman’s game wasn’t appreciated by the judges. Take a look at the reactions from fans and fighters on Twitter during and after the bout:
Big up Kingston Jamaica! #UFC286— Ode’ ⭕️sbourne (@OdeOsbourne) March 18, 2023
IT’S TIME ⚡ #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/HIFqlDnPNC— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 18, 2023
Leon pew pewing in Usman’s face— Tommy Toe Hold (@TommyToeHold) March 18, 2023
This London crowd just turned up like 10 notches for this main event and it was already pretty raucous. Goosebumps. #UFC286— Nolan King (@mma_kings) March 18, 2023
Sea level trilogy. Let’s see who wins it. #UFC286— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) March 18, 2023
Great distance by Leon— Aleksandar Rakic (@rakic_ufc) March 18, 2023
Both guys held my glove the whole fight. #UFC286 @ufc— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) March 18, 2023
1-0 Edwards #UFC286— Teddy Atlas (@TeddyAtlasReal) March 18, 2023
Edwards is setting up the head shot from that left liver kick again #UFC286— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) March 18, 2023
Leon’s check hook is landing and it only takes a clean one!!— Jamahal Hill (@JamahalH) March 18, 2023
Wow, Herb Dean will take a point from Leon Edwards for grabbing the fence. #UFC286— Marc Raimondi (@marcraimondi) March 18, 2023
Funniest outcome is Edwards fouling himself to a DQ.— Derek (@ricketyoldshack) March 18, 2023
Dirty fighter— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) March 18, 2023
Herb was put in a really tough spot to take a point away from the champ in his home country but I think that was probably the right call. Pretty egregious fence grab. #UFC286— Robbie Fox (@RobbieBarstool) March 18, 2023
SLAP but with nut shots— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) March 18, 2023
Give the round to Leon… so it could be even going into the championship rounds #UFC286— Brandon (@brandonroyval) March 18, 2023
Wittman wants Usman to walk Edwards down aggressively. Good advice, but Usman has only been able to make it happen in spots so far— King Typo (@BoxingBusch) March 18, 2023
This fight has more illegal blows than Karl Malone’s marriage. #UFC286— MMA Roasted (@MMARoasted) March 18, 2023
Leon fouling and kind of disputing it is a lack of focus. You can see the momentum shifting away. #UFC286— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) March 18, 2023
The announcers are talking so much about the head kick that if it doesn’t happen I’m gonna be so upset . #UFC286— malki kawa (@malkikawa) March 18, 2023
Draw at the belt and they do it a 4th time for the second time in history!!!— Jamahal Hill (@JamahalH) March 19, 2023
This could end in a draw due to the point deduction #UFC286— Hyon Ko (@JHKMMA) March 19, 2023
MMA FANS:— Amy Kaplan (@PhotoAmy33) March 19, 2023
INSERT ROBBERY TWEET FOR WHOEVER LOSES#UFC286
I think the point deduction is the deciding factor. I think Edwards wins this closely or it’s a draw? What y’all think? #UFC286— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) March 19, 2023
48-46— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) March 19, 2023
LEON WINS THE TRILOGY ON THE SCORECARDS! #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/Yz57l0Ia7k
Robbery!!!! Hell no! Kamaru won that fight!!!— Abdul Razak Alhassan (@JudoRazak) March 19, 2023
In reality, Usman won that fight. But if you want to beat the champ, you gotta make it obvious. Phenomenal fight. #UFC286— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) March 19, 2023
Wow ! With the point ! These are one of these fights I gotta watch back again tomorrow. I thought Usman won. #UFC286— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) March 19, 2023
Usman is 35 now. At this age you start declining. I wonder if he will ever be champ again.— Crypto Coach (@WisdomMatic) March 19, 2023
Still the best to ever do it in the WW division #UFC286
You can’t be on the Champs home turf and not make it a clear victory. Great fight. Proper scrap. Leon Edwards had a great fight plan and executed it. #UFC286— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) March 19, 2023
As the changing of the guard is completed, @Usman84kg pays his respects to Leon Edwards #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/3BBZLCT6Hf— UFC (@ufc) March 19, 2023
Super close fight.. judges probably gave the close rounds to their homie #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/7HWObFtu7V— Billy Quarantillo (@BillyQMMA) March 19, 2023
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