By Kayode Sanni-Arewa
Nigerian UFC fighter, Kamaru Usman has failed to retrieve the welterweight title after he lost to Leon Edwards over five rounds at UFC 286 in London.
The 31-year-old Briton edged out former champion Kamaru Usman in their trilogy encounter with points. It was a close match but Edwards landed the cleaner shots. The British fighter came out on top, with the three judges scoring it 48-46, 48-46 and 47-47 in his favour.
He was rewarded for punishing Usman with a barrage of leg kicks, slowing the ‘Nigerian Nightmare', who marched forward with his usual suffocating style but that march became more of a hobble the longer he was sliced up.
Edwards earned a shocking win against Usman in August where he avenged a 2015 loss to the 35-year-old Nigerian. The win made him just the second British UFC champion and the first since Michael Bisping in 2016.
After the loss, Kamaru Usman congratulated Edwards on his accomplishments by calling him “a great champion.”
He also noted that he did enough to win but admitted it was close.
Usman told BT Sport: “I think I did enough to win the fight but I knew it was close.
He had a great gameplan. I always said from the start we'd meet again and I'm not done. We will see each other again.
“I always gave him props for what he's accomplished. He's a brother like myself and great respect. London you've got yourself a great champion.
When asked about his plans to get back in the octagon, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare', Usman who has now lost two successive fights said: “Not too long. I'll get back with my coaches. I'm one of those guys, I can't sit for too long.
“I'll spend some time with my daughter. You guys get to watch us but you don't know what we have to sacrifice to be here. We put it on the lines every time,” he added.