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May 29, 2024

Edwards Dominates Covington To Retain Welterweight Title At UFC 296

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Dec 17, 2023

Leon Edwards put on a dominant performance to retain his UFC welterweight championship with a lopsided unanimous decision victory over arch rival Colby Covington in Saturday’s UFC 296 main event.

Background To The Grudge Match

Edwards and Covington have had bad blood for years, but their rivalry hit a shocking new low at Friday’s pre-fight press conference when Covington made disgusting comments about Edwards’ late father. Edwards lunged across the stage at Covington as a brawl broke out before security restored order.

The incident put an ugly spotlight on what was already the most heated grudge match the UFC has promoted in quite some time. The intense animosity stems from a 2019 run-in at a hotel in Australia and there has been trash talk ever since.

When they finally stepped into the Octagon on Saturday night to settle the score, the tension was palpable with very real beef behind all the pre-fight bluster.

The Fight

In the first round, Edwards took the center of the Octagon while Covington bounced on the outside before shooting for a takedown. Edwards defended well and landed some solid strikes in the exchanges.

The second round saw Covington press forward aggressively throwing big punches. Edwards remained composed and countered nicely while avoiding damage. Towards the end of the round, Edwards scored a takedown and landed some big elbows from top position.

Stat Leon Edwards Colby Covington
Total Strikes Landed 117 100
Takedowns 3 0

Covington rebounded a bit in the third round by landing some good right hands and pushing the pace. But Edwards controlled most of the round with superior technique in the striking exchanges and a late takedown.

The championship rounds were all Edwards as he continued picking Covington apart on the feet utilizing a versatile striking arsenal before taking him down repeatedly. Edwards also opened up a bad cut over Covington’s left eye that bled profusely.

After five grueling rounds, Edwards left no doubt by winning 49-46, 49-46 and 50-45 on the official scorecards.

Reaction And What Happens Next

Edwards was overcome with emotion after the decisive victory against his hated rival. He gave respect to Covington’s toughness in his post-fight interview, but stated “it was just business” given their bitter feud.

With this second title defense now under his belt, Edwards continues cementing himself as the top welterweight on the planet. Having conquered Covington, Edwards plans move forward chasing big fights with opponents like Khamzat Chimaev or a trilogy bout against Kamaru Usman.

As for Covington, despite all his bluster and bravado in the buildup, he had no answers when it came to solving Edwards inside the cage. Having now lost decisively to both Edwards and Usman (twice), Covington faces an uncertain future. Does he try to work his way back up towards another title shot or focus more on grudge matches that play to his pro-wrestling-style persona?

One thing for sure, the bad blood between Edwards and Covington shows no signs of fading, even with the score definitively settled in the cage at UFC 296. This rivalry looks likely to continue playing out for years to come.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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