The rivalry between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman is done for now after Edwards was victorious for the second straight time this past weekend at UFC 286. After the fight, Dana White announced that Colby Covington is next in line to compete for the welterweight championship.
Although it was a great performance by Edwards, it wasn't one that didn't come without controversy.
Colby Covington On Edwards: “Biggest Cheater I've Ever Seen”
Being as outspoken as Covington is, he had some choice words after UFC 286 for the current reigning and defending champion Leon Edwards regarding some alleged cheating against Kamaru Usman:
“Damn man, I thought Marty Fake Newsman [Kamaru Usman] was a cheater, man Leon Scott [Leon Edwards] is the biggest cheater I've ever seen.
“The guy talks about head shot dead, dude should be talking about cage grab, nut grab, nut kick, short grab, this grab, I mean the guy did everything you can do to cheat in the fight.”
“The guy's just a f**king cheater. He's a piece of shit, and I didn't make much of the fight.”@ColbyCovMMA blasts Leon Edwards’ after seeing his win live at #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/wmHMz0dsQk
— Submission Radio (@SubmissionRadio) March 20, 2023
Is Leon Edwards A Cheater?
Colby Covington does have a point here as Edwards had numerous fouls during the trilogy fight with Usman for the welterweight championship. It first started when they were striking at distance, with Edwards hitting Usman with a lot of body kicks that were just above the belt line.
Moving on to the next round, Edwards attempted to land yet another body kick, which resulted in a low blow. Usman was then given his time to recover (which wasn't long), and then within the next two minutes or so he hit him again below the belt. This led to Usman complaining to the referee.
It was downhill after that when Usman was starting to engage more in wrestling and grappling. Most believed that Edwards' takedown defense was just a lot better since their last fight, but you can also believe that his cheating is what caused his takedown defense to be on point for the third and final installment between the two.
The first time Usman engaged in a takedown attempt against the cage, Edwards grabbed Usman's glove, which resulted in the referee warning Edwards after they broke off the cage. This was the first of numerous warnings.
#DanaWhite reacts to #LeonEdwards shamelessly cheating against #KamaruUsman at #UFC286! 🧐👇#UFC https://t.co/mVTVqG3Qdt
— Sportsmanor (@sports_manor) March 20, 2023
Then as the fight progressed into Round 3, Usman attempted yet another takedown, and this time he was deep on a double leg against the cage as Edwards was about to go down he subsequently held onto the cage. The referee then stopped the fight and took a point away from Edwards, but in the process of taking the point away, they gave up the dominant position that Usman had.
It is hard to call Leon Edwards a habitual cheater, but this isn't the first time he had fight-altering fouls. We remember in his fight against Belal Muhammad, the fight ended early in the second round due to a very dangerous eye poke. Whether or not Edwards is a blatant cheater or not, he will have to face the wrath of Colby Covington sooner rather than later.