UFC 296: Leon Edwards dominates Colby Covington in front of Donald Trump to retain title and exact revenge for dad joke | The Sun

LEON EDWARDS retained his welterweight title with an emphatic silencing of Colby Covington in their grudge match.

Britain's second UFC champion made the second defence of the 170lbs throne early this morning in the main event of UFC 296 in Las Vegas.

Emotions were high going into the Sin City showdown following Covington's repeated taunts about Edwards' late father, who was murdered when he was 13.

And the Brummie made the former interim champion eat every one of his words with a dominant decision victory, which came courtesy of 49-46 scorecards.

An emotional Edwards said in his post-fight interview: “I knew I was the better athlete, everyone kept going on about his cardio.

”I shut him down with technique and range. I’m a mixed martial artist, I wanted to come out here and prove that."



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Edwards took the centre of the Octagon early doors and looked to feint his way into range.

The champ had to deal with chants of “USA, USA, USA" as he looked to get his attacks off.

Covington was cautious about entering the pocket, perhaps as he was aware of Edwards’ slick counter-striking.

Edwards soon landed a big right hand that briefly staggered Covington after hearing chants of "F*** you, Leon".

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Covington tried to change tact with a takedown with a minute-and-half of the round left but saw his effort to ground the fight stuffed before having his head pinged back with a stiff counter left

Despite being cheered on by Donald Trump, Covington was hesitant to enter striking range in the second.

He did, however, manage to land a good straight left – although Edwards' counter left after a beautiful stance switch proved to be the biggest strike of the round.

Covington shot for a takedown early in the third but saw his attempt to ground the fight stuffed.

Edwards did a masterful job of countering when Covington left himself vulnerable coming in.

But he eventually found himself grounded by a big double leg from Covington, albeit temporarily.

He returned the favour by grounding the American before allowing him back to his feet.

Covington's hesitancy with his striking continued in the fourth and he resorted to trying to bring the fight to the ground, albeit unsuccessfully.

Bizarrely, Covington showed no signs of urgency after the start of the fifth and final round.

But he managed to bring the fight into his wheelhouse with a big takedown.

Edwards did a beautiful job of getting back to his feet and secured a takedown of his own before transitioning to the back of the challenger.

Covington then found himself fending off rear-naked and armbar attempts, the latter of which he used to transition to the half-guard of the champ.

But he was unable to find a Haily Mary submission to seal a last-gasp victory and claim UFC gold at the third time of asking.

Edwards was satisfied to have his hand raised but was frustrated he wasn't able to shut Covington up for his pre-fight comments.

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He said: "He used my dad’s death as entertainment, it took a lot for me to calm down.

"He’s a great competitor but just a dirty human being.”

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