Kamaru Usman failed to regain the welterweight title at UFC 286 in London after losing to champion, Leon Edwards, in a thrilling five rounds
Usman had lost his title in August 2022 entering the fight with a -425 winning favour while odd-makers saw Leon as a +315 underdog. “The Nigerian Nightmare” would succumb to a knockout late in the fifth round, marking Usman’s first loss inside the UFC.
The tables would remain the same as Edwards delivered a tactical masterclass to defend his welterweight title.
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He was able to refute Usman’s takedown attempts and landed the more brutal shots to emerge as the dominant fighter as the match went on.
Usman said in a post-match interview that he prepared enough to win the battle but Edwards’ game plan was tougher.
“I think I did enough to win the fight but you know it was a close fight, but you know he put on a hell of a great game plan, you know I have always said it from the start, I knew I would see Leon again and we did it.”
“You know I’m not done; you know I’ll see him again; I’ve always given him probs for everything he’s been able to accomplish and just like me, he is a brother like myself and much respect you, London you got yourself a kind of a guy great champion”
The 35-year-old UFC fighter said with an optimistic spirit that it would not take too long before he would be back in the fight, adding that he was going to let this digest and he is going to make this run again.
“It is not going to be too long, I’m gonna get back with my coaches, I am one of those guys that cannot sit for too long. I am going to talk to my coaches, we will get back, sit and relax”
Usman also noted that the spectators do not realize how much fighters go through in the training camp to prepare for a fight.
“You guys get to come here and be entertained by us, but a lot of you don’t know what we go through in the training ground just to prepare for this, just to get in here and give you guys a show, we put in on the line for you guys every time.”
Despite a desperate fight at resurgence, Usman was left in defence mode as he was left at the mercy of Edwards’s superior striking kicks.
The 31-year-old British mixed martial artist came out on top after the five-round bout, with the three judges awarding him a score of 48-46, 48-46, and 47-47 in his favour.