Leon Edwards defeated Kamaru Usman by majority decision in what was the first defense of his welterweight throne. 'Rocky' had previously dethroned Usman at UFC 278 to capture the 170-pound strap.
Kamaru Usman arrived at UFC 286 prepared to demonstrate that he is still among the most dangerous fighters in the welterweight division. He appeared to have learned from his mistakes, something Edwards acknowledged in the post-fight interview. Usman began the bout with a southpaw stance and immediately pressed the action.
'The Nigerian Nightmare' had his moments as well, and had considerably more success on the feet than in their previous two encounters. Even though Edwards had a point deducted for grabbing the fence in the second round, he still won by majority decision on the judges' scorecards.
Even though tempers flared at the press conference before the fight, mutual respect was displayed afterward. The rivalry, as fierce as it may be, stems from a pure competitive spirit, and it was beautiful to see them be respectful in the end. Fans in attendance greeted Kamaru Usman's display of respect with thunderous applause.
Speaking in the post-fight octagon interview, Kamaru Usman stated:
"I've always given him [Edwards] props for everything he's been able to accomplish. He's a brother, just like myself... Much respect. London, you guys [have got ] a great champion. London, what are ya saying?!"
Check out the video below:
Justin Gaethje lashes out at Michael Bisping while reacting to his teammate Kamaru Usman's loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 286
Kamaru Usman fell short on his efforts to recapture the welterweight championship from Leon Edwards at UFC 286. Meanwhile, his teammate Justin Gaethje defeated Rafael Fiziev by majority decision in a back-and-forth contest.
This was Usman's second consecutive loss and only the third in his professional MMA career. While he looks determined to fight Edwards again, it will be some time before he gets another title shot.
Although Justin Gaethje admitted that his opinion may be skewed, he still believed that Usman deserved to have his hand raised. But the American was particularly miffed with UFC analyst Michael Bisping, who he claimed was being biased during the broadcast. Speaking at the post-fight media scrum, Gaethje stated:
"I thought he [Usman] won the fight.... But I'm probably as biased as the judges, certainly not as biased as Michael Bisping. He shouldn't have been nowhere near a microphone during that fight."
Catch Gaethje's comments below: