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UFC286 Recap & Takeaways



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After the dust settled in the aftermath of UFC286, Leon Edwards proved that his knockout victory over Kamaru Usman was not a fluke, and successfully defended his belt in a five- round war. Edwards was sharp with his kicks to the body and precise punches. The difference in the fight was Edwards takedown defense. In the past, Usman was able to maul Edwards with his superior wrestling skills, but this time around, Edwards takedown defense dramatically improved, using the Thai clinch to thwart multiple takedown attempts by Usman. In the end, the champ retained his title winning the bout by majority decision (48-46×2,47-47). Here are the major takeaways from UFC286:

1. Edwards is the real deal– Leon Edwards cannot be denied. Edwards has now won twelve fights in a row, his last loss coming in 2015 to Usman. It is undeniable that Edwards growth as a mixed martial artist has allowed him to become a dangerous fighter that no longer relies on just striking and kicking. Edwards wrestling and takedown defense has improved dramatically, and he is now without question one of the top “pound for pound” fighters in the world.

2. Usman’s legacy takes a hit– Before Edwards win at UFC278, Usman had won 15 straight fights, and had he won, he would have tied Anderson Silva’s record of 16 straight wins. He was lapping the field on his way to defeating the top five opponents in his division for the second time and was defending his title for the sixth time. Then the “headshot” heard around the world happened, and the man who looked like he would surpass George St. Pierre as the greatest welterweight in UFC history, was knocked out cold. Fast forward to UFC286, and Usman had a chance to regain his title as king and continue his march to greatness. Once upon a time, even St. Pierre had been stunned by Matt Serra losing his title and reclaiming it right back the following fight. Usman failed to regain his title, and was unable to break Edwards will like he had done in his previous two fights. Now Usman is coming off two straight losses, his aura of invincibility appears to be shattered, and at 36 years old, with bad knees, this might have been the last opportunity for Usman to compete for a championship. As it now stands, it looks like Usman will not surpass George St. Pierre as the greatest welterweight of all time. After the bout with Edwards, Usman was all class and acknowledged Edwards as a “great champion”:

3. Colby Covington is next– After the main event finished, Dana White stated that Colby Covington would get a shot the title when pressed about who would be next for Leon Edwards. “I don’t know when we’ll do it, but yeah, that the fight that makes sense. Colby came here and cut weight and did everything to be here for this fight. He deserves this fight”.

Leon Edwards responded to Dana White’s suggestion by questioning Colby’s inactivity:

To which Covington responded by tweeting:

4. Gaethje’s victory sets him on championship path– Gaethje versus Fiziev did not disappoint. The fight was an all-out war as both fighters traded heavy blows, uppercuts, kicks and elbows for three bloody rounds. In the end, Gaethje pulled away dominating round three and leaving Fiziev’s face looking like a hamburger. The speculation now is that Gaethje will rematch Dustin Poirier with the winner of that fight getting a title shot, presumably against Islam Makhachev.

UFC286 Fight Card Results
-Leon Edwards (c) def. Kamaru Usman via majority decision
-Justin Gaethje def. Rafael Fiziev via majority decision
-Gunnar Nelson def. Bryan Barberena via first-round submission
-Jennifer Maia def. Casey O’Neill via unanimous decision
-Marvin Vettori def. Roman Dolidze via unanimous decision
-Jack Shore def. Makwan Amirkhani via second-round submission
-Chris Duncan def. Omar Morales via split decision
-Yanal Ashmoz def. Sam Patterson via first-round TKO
-Muhammad Mokaev def. Jafel Filho via third-round submission
-Lerone Murphy vs. Gabriel Santos via split decision
-Christian Leroy Duncan def. Dusko Todorovic via first-round TKO
-Jake Hadley def. Malcolm Gordon via first-round TKO
-Joanne Wood def. Luana Carolina via split decision
-Ludovit Klein vs. Jai Herbert ends in a majority draw,
-Veronica Macedo def. Julianna Miller via unanimous decision



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