UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards 2 took place August 30 at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (20-2) and Leon Edwards (20-3, 1 no-contest) collided in a welterweight title fight. The fight aired live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Catch the video highlights below.
For more on Usman vs. Edwards 2, check out our live blog from MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.
Edwards comes out in southpaw, Usman in orthodox. Circling in the center to start for both. Edwards throws a kick that Usman nearly catches. And Usman is now taking the center and cutting the cage. Edwards trying to keep a long range, and showing a lot of feints.
Edwards going to low kicks early. It’s a good weapon against Usman, if he doesn’t get taken down from it. Usman hasn’t done much to start. Trying to corner Edwards. He does, jabs in and then shoots and he’s got his hands locked. Edwards against the cage though and he’s staying upright.
Edwards goes for a footsweep but stumbles and now Usman is on top of him. Bad mistake from Edwards but he stands up quickly and gets to the fence. Usman has the rear-waist lock and he’s chopping some light knees in while Edwards tries to break the grip.
Usman tries to drag Edwards down again and briefly does but he’s right back up. Usman staying in the grip, some knees, looking to get the takedown. Edwards pummels and he takes Usman down with a trip and he’s right into mount! It’s the first time Usman has been taken down in his career and this is huge for Edwards!
Edwards is in the mount and he lands a good couple of shots. Usman on a hip, trying to escape but Edwards takes his back and he’s got a body triangle in!!! This is incredible!
Usman fighting the hands but Edwards is digging an arm under the chin. Usman fighting it off but the body triangle is keeping him locked in. Edwards over top of the chin and squeezing. Usman fights the hands though. Usman trying to turn but the triangle is not allowing it and Edwards lands a solid elbow and some hammerfists to close the round. WOW.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Edwards.
Usman comes out aggressively to start this round and he’s got Edwards backed up immediately. Edwards still chopping with the kicks though. Usman punches his way into the clinch. Edwards looking pretty strong here. And he lands a nasty knee inside.
Usman lands a left hook and then rips to the body. Usman pouring the pressure on and letting the hands go. Edwards covering up mostly. Not sure if he’s hurt or this is a tactic. His eyes look clear.
Usman lands a good jab but gets poked in the eye stepping in and we’ve got a break in the action. Ooh, on the replay, it doesn’t exactly look like an eye poke? Give the champ the benefit of the doubt, but it certainly looked a little odd.
Usman lands his own leg kick. Edwards switching stances and trying to stay long. He lands a good knee as Usman steps in. Usman getting the jab going now. Big left hand from Edwards gets Usman backing up. Usman attacking the body with punches, because Edwards is keeping the hands high. Then he goes up top and gets Edwards backing up. Big left hook from Edwards gets Usman’s attention.
Usman backs Edwards up and takes a clinch against the fence. He’s stomping on the foot as Edwards works his way out, which he does.
Now Edwards shoots a single leg and that’s an awful choice because Usman easily sprawls and he’s working a headlock series now. Edwards nearly powers through it though! Usman just defends and they’re at space but Usman is putting the pressure on now. Edwards is against the fence and Usman is unloading. Body shots from Usman and then a level change and he gets it. Edwards may be wilting. He’s not been able to keep Usman off him and that’s a serious problem.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Usman, 19-19 overall.
Usman looking quite fresh to start the third. If Edwards was rope-a-doping, that ain’t working. Edwards’ corner tells him he’s getting bullied and needs to be the one advancing. That’s 10000% true, and Edwards comes out trying to take the center early.
Leg kicks from Edwards. Still his most efficient weapon. And a left hand and one to the body. Usman taking the pressure back now though and he shoots. Edwards defends to the fence, but Usman gets the takedown anyway. Edwards is up, but the takedowns are coming easy now.
Usman has back body lock against the fence and Usman is holding on and chipping in knees while Edwards tries to break the hands. He’s not able to do it though, but he is able to turn and land a knee as he finally breaks.
Usman back in his face and Edwards backed up. Good combo and a knee from Edwards. Good right hand from Usman and then an elbow against the fence. He then changes levels and gets the takedown. Edwards is simply wilting under the pressure now and I struggle to see how he can turn the tide. He simply doesn’t have the tools.
Usman trying to take the back. Edwards defending and looks up to Herb Dean about something. That’s never a good sign. Neither is the look of defeat on Edwards’ face.
Edwards is having small successes, but Usman is back on the hips and keeping his weight high. He’s trying to grab a front headlock. Most;y he’s just wearing Edwards out and he’s looking like Khabib right now, smothering as the round ends. Edwards is able to get up just before the horn but no matter.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Usman, 29-28 Usman.
Edwards’ corner employs him to get the hands going, saying Usman is controlling him too much. Sure. But that’s not really helpful. It’s simple, if Edwards takes a backwards step, he’s going to lose. But he’s going to take those steps. Usman is in control.
Usman looks fresh as a daisy. Edwards still looks okay on the feet, but his eyes look full of doubt. He does take the center to start and he starts swinging. Leg kick. Usman feinting. Body kick from Edwards but Usman has him backing up now.
An odd collision and Edwards gets a rear waist lock on Usman. He drives Usman to the fence and Usman is hand-fighting while Edwards tries to drag him down. Usman grabs the fence twice. Of course Herb Dean doesn’t do anything about it. He never, ever will. Always cheat when Herb is reffing.
Edwards is holding this position and Usman looks frustrated but he is finally able to break free and he’s immediately on Edwards and gets an easy takedown. He’s posturing up and landing shots now.
Edwards’ corner is imploring him to get up and he’s doing his best. He’s got his back to the fence but Usman is just wearing on him. He finally gets to his feet but Usman still holding the lock. Edwards cannot break the lock. Usman holding on and light knees.
Usman lets go of the grips, fires a combo and gets back on a double leg. WOW. Herb Dean calls a foul on Edwards for a fence grab. It was real, but Usman been doing that and no penalty. Dean gives the position to Usman and we’re back in the clinch.
Usman lets go and he starts unloading on Edwards! Big shots and an elbow to put the stamp on the round.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Usman, 39-37 Usman overall.
Edwards’ corner is all the worst things. They know their fighter is broken and they’re yelling to try and inspire him but that seems unlikely. Usman’s corner is obviously loving what’s going on.
Usman pressuring. Edwards lands a decent knee. Body jab. He needs something huge here though and he’s not going for it. And now Usman has got him behind the lines.
Usman swinging the hands, gets the guard up, and then gets the takedown. Edwards right back up. He’s doing some good things but since he’s not offering any offense, it doesn’t matter.
Usman holding a clinch and stomping the feet. It’s a consummate performance from him but you hope he tries to get a finish here. He probably won’t because Edwards is tough, but he’s clinching hard now. Just grinding.
Edwards staying upright but this isn’t what he needs. Herb Dean does break it up and reset them in the center though. Edwards needs to empty the tank here.
Body kick from Edwards. Right hand. When he gets Usman backing up, he’s doing okay. But a body kick strays low and gets a stoppage. Actually, that was not a low kick. That hit the body on replay. Well, the foot may have touched. It was close. Usman Covington all over again.
We restart. Edwards is holding the center now. Nevermind. He gives up the footwork battle. Low kick. No one doing much. Edwards back on the lead. OH MY GOD LEON EDWARDS LANDS A HEAD KICK THAT KNOCKS USMAN OUT COLD!!!!!