Leon Edwards defeated Kamaru Usman to retain the UFC welterweight belt for the first time.
The 286th tournament of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has come to an end in London. As part of the British showdown, the heavyweight division belt remained with its former owner, while a fierce American lined up for Russian champion Islam Makhachev.
Edwards narrowly won Usman’s trilogy.
A beautiful finale to an eight-year encounter. And a good place for the climax: the fighters fought twice in America, on the territory of Kamaru Usman (in 2015 everything ended with the victory of the Americans by unanimous decision of the judges, and last summer Leon Edwards took revenge by knocking out his opponent a minute before the end of the championship fight ). Now is the time to test yourself in the enemy’s lair of the Nigerian Nightmare.
“Rocky”, a Jamaican native from Birmingham, defended his UFC title for the first time. And immediately at the local stands of the London O2 Arena “Headshot – dead!“.
‘I’ll rip your heart out’: killers weighing Rocky and Makhachev will fry the UFC in London
But the real thing started… And the fans seemed to be transported to August, when the heavyweights shared the octagon for the second time. It also worked as the first issue of The Nigerian Nightmare chasing the “champion” around the octagon. And Leon successfully moved from the same distance, looking for an opportunity for another knockout.
Thus passed all five rounds. The champion was extremely passive and “dirty” (clinging to the opponent’s net and gloves, hitting his groin), and opponent Usman seemed to have achieved this, but did not develop the advantage. Transfers to the ground did not cause any damage, and successful combinations on the shelf quickly disappeared. The once-dominant champion was knocked down with this knockout, which is clear – whether Kamaru will return to his previous level after two consecutive defeats remains a question.
As for Leon, who still got the trilogy, the undefeated streak reached 12 games. Impressive stats! But I do not want to congratulate the champion on today’s success: both victories against the Nigerian Nightmare seem coincidental (Saturday’s victory can be considered a “gift” from the referees) and a meeting with the conditional Khamzat Chimaev or Colby Covington. Take Leon off the top.
Rocky will have to prove the injustice of such logic in the second half of 2023.
Gati barely defeated Fiziev.
The attention of local fans turned to Azerbaijani Rafael Fiziev. The lightweight achieved a six-game winning streak and eventually eliminated Khabib Nurmagomedov’s last opponent, the American Justin Gaethje. The show’s joint main event in London promised to be “fight of the year” as both brawlers always chase a knockout and $50,000 bonus.
Shock. duel “perfect dance partners“It took all three rounds with many exchanges and almost no fights. “Ataman” Fiziev impressed. He seemed to take the win. But the end, unlike Raphael, who interrupted his opponent with experience and finished the fight with a clean face… victory went to Highlight, who started the third campaign for the championship.
Despite his interrupted streak, Fiziev will remain in the title race and, subject to a spectacular victory, will once again declare himself a legitimate contender for Mahachev’s belt.
According to the results of UFC 286, the fight between Gati and Fiziev was recognized as the “Best fight of the night”..
What else do you remember about the show in London?
Another victory of the Dagestan-born Briton Mohammed Mokaev. The Punisher was nearly caught in a painful surrender by Brazilian Jafel Filho, who gave his opponent a leg (miraculously without a broken knee), but he endured and eventually choked the league’s debut tired player. Invincible Mokaev already has four victories in the UFC – the guy stepped on the gas and rushed to the top of the flyweight division.
Invincible Mohammed Mokaev won his fourth victory in the UFC: video
Controversial defeat of Georgian Roman Dolidze. The Batumi middleweight certainly did not lose to former title contender Marvin Vettori, but the referees awarded the victory to the Italian. It continues to surprise the referees, and we can only say that Dolidze’s four-game winning streak was interrupted.
The coolest outlet from Yanal Ashmoz from Israel. Red Fox knocked out local fighter Sam Patterson in the first round, bringing his record to 7-0 (six stoppage wins). Ashmoz is definitely worth a watch, as the undefeated lightweight puts on a show for the fans… And he’s fighting in the Makhachev episode!
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