The scorecards for Edwards’ choice showed 48-46, 48-46, and 47-47.
Fighting in front of his home crowd at the O2 arena in London gave Edwards a huge boost as he connected with clean strikes and tried to balance Usman’s impressive performance. The audience went wild when Edwards was declared the winner of the fight.
With the victory, Edwards improves to 2-1 against Usman despite the fact that this fight was not as exciting as their previous one at UFC 278. Edwards found a way to pull off the win knocking out Usman in the last minute of their welterweight championship fight.
“London, you got yourself a hell of a guy, and a great champion,” Usman said to Daniel Cormier following the fight.
Other bouts at UFC 286 were entertaining, with Justin Gaethje defeating Rafael Fiziev by decision. Both combatants displayed their strength by delivering powerful kicks and punches to the torso.
Bryan Berberena was beaten in the opening round by an armbar applied by Gunnar Nelson, while Casey O’Neill was decisively defeated by Jennifer Maia and Roman Dolidze by Marvin Vettori.
In the final round, Edwards avoided two more attempts at takedown and connected with Usman with an uppercut, but he also took a blow to the body as his championship defense came down to the wire.
With a kick to the Nigerian fighter’s head and neck in the fifth round of UFC 278 in Salt Lake City in August, Edwards put an end to Usman’s protracted reign as king.
More than seven years after Usman won the first fight, they were facing off for the third time.
“I think I did enough to win the fight,” the 35-year-old Usman told BT Sport after Saturday’s defeat. I’m not done yet.