Leon Edwards


Exceptional performance against RDA
July 20, 2019
Edwards defeated Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) at UFC San Antonio on Saturday.
Edwards surprised many by going for the takedown early and spent the majority of the first round in top position. He took a few hard leg kicks in that period, but likely won the round. Edwards continued to build momentum in Round 2, using a vicious left elbow to open a big cut under the right eye of dos Anjos. He continued to attack that cut with his jab to the point where it required a doctor's attention between rounds. While dos Anjos continued to land hard kicks to the lead leg and had some success with the takedown, Edwards appeared to be getting the better of the striking exchanges. Edwards didn't appear to fade much in the Championship Rounds, appearing calm and collected while continuing to win the striking battle. He caught a flying knee attempt from RDA in the fourth, which allowed him to earn a takedown, even though his time in top control was short-lived. The fifth round was all about risk management, with Edwards knowing he was likely up on the scorecards. He showed exceptional cardio while initiating clinches and eating clock along the way. Edwards evaded the late forward movement of RDA, and ended up hanging on for the victory. While Edwards does have a loss to current champion Kamaru Usman on his record, Saturday marked his eighth consecutive victory. It should be top-10 opponents for him from here on out. He called out Jorge Masvidal in his post-fight interview, but it's tough to imagine Masvidal accepting that fight.
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Tabbed for UFC San Antonio
June 13, 2019
Edwards will fight Rafael dos Anjos as the main event at UFC San Antonio on July 20, Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports reports.
Edwards has come into his own as a fighter, earning victories in each of his last seven bouts. His only defeat since his UFC debut came against current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. Five of the wins in his seven-match winning streak came via decision, so there's a decent chance he will go the full five rounds, though he's known to mix in the takedown when the fight dictates it, which helps his fantasy score. Dos Anjos will be the biggest test for Edwards since the Usman fight, as RDA is a former lightweight champion that recently snapped a two-fight losing streak with a big win over Kevin Lee. Edwards will enter with a four-inch advantage in both height and reach, and he'll be the younger fighter by nearly seven years.
Impresses with wrestling in London
March 16, 2019
Edwards defeated Gunnar Nelson via split decision (28-29, 29-27, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night in London on Saturday.
Edwards undoubtedly worked on his takedown defense heavily in camp, but Nelson was persistent in getting him to the ground in the first round. Edwards expended a lot of energy getting back to his feet, where he surprisingly went for a takedown and looked to take Nelson's back. When the first round was all said and done, it was actually Edwards that appeared to tally up more control time on the mat. Edwards landed a solid elbow early in the second in what was shaping up to be an uneventful round -- at least until the final 30 seconds. At that point, Edwards landed big with another elbow and followed it up with heavy ground-and-pound that may have broken the right orbital bone of Nelson. Both fighters started slow in the third round, with Nelson searching for takedowns early and often. Edwards was finally taken down as the final minute approached, and Nelson quickly gained full mount. From there, Edwards showed good fight IQ by keeping Nelson close and preventing further ground-and-pound, likely aware that he had a decision all but secure. The victory extended Edwards' UFC winning streak to seven, and while he has a loss to current champion Kamaru Usman on his record, he might be just another win or two from a title shot. He called for the main-event winner in his post-fight interview.
Co-headlining London event
January 16, 2019
Edwards and Gunnar Nelson will co-headline UFC Fight Night in London on March 16, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
The pair will get joint top billing with Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal. Edwards, from England himself, is undefeated in four UFC matches in the United Kingdom, with a victory over Peter Sobotta in March in his most recent match in his home country. Nelson, from Iceland, is 3-0 in UFC matches in London, though he does have a loss in the United Kingdom, falling to Santiago Ponzinibbio in Glasgow back in July of 2017.
Pulls out decision over Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC Singapore
June 23, 2018
Edwards defeated Donald Cerrone via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) at UFC Fight Night in Singapore.
At points in this fight, it looked like Edwards was near a finish. However, he seemed to know that Cerrone is a veteran that could launch a comeback at any time. Instead, Edwards stuck to his game plan and landed the better strikes throughout the contest. Cerrone was persistent and tried to mix in some takedowns. It was simply not enough. Edwards lands counters and leads, which did clear damage to Cerrone. This is by far the biggest win of Edwards' career, and he should continue to take steps forward.
To face Donald Cerrone in Singapore
April 3, 2018
Edwards will face Donald Cerrone in the welterweight main event in Singapore on June 23, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports.
Edwards' wish will finally come to fruition, as the 26-year-old called out Cerrone in a post-fight interview back in September. He is riding a five-fight win streak, with his most recent victory coming against Peter Sobotta via TKO (punches) at UFC Fight Night in London less than a month ago. Cerrone (33-10) is coming off a first-round TKO victory over Yancy Medeiros at UFC Fight Night in Austin on Feb. 18.