UFC 296 results, highlights: Leon Edwards retains title with ease in decision against Colby Covington

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Colby Covington had more bark than bite on Saturday night. Leon Edwards reigned in his emotions, dictated the fight and defended his UFC welterweight title following an ugly build to UFC 296.

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“This one was very emotional for me. This guy used my dad’s death as entertainment. Used my dad’s murder as entertainment,” Edwards said during his post-fight interview at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “It took a lot for me to calm down, stay focused and come into this fight. I talked to my coaches, I talked to my mom and I shut it all down.

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“After the press conference, I went backstage and started crying just because of the rage… To this day it still breaks my heart that my dad was murdered.”

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Covington succeeded in drawing out Edwards’ emotions during their pre-fight press conference on Thursday but a cold, calculated champion entered the cage on fight night.

Edwards dictated the pace from the beginning, only giving Covington a chance when he chose to engage in grappling. The champ moved forward with precision, picking apart the challenger with hooks to the head and kicks to the body and legs. Covington’s greatest strengths are widely believed to be his stamina, forward pressure and chain wrestling. Yet Covington was unusually reserved on Saturday, particularly in the first three rounds. 

Covington looked more alive in the later rounds, particularly when Edwards willingly engaged in his opponent’s fieldhouse. Covington and Edwards each scored one takedown in Round 5 with Covington closing the fight on top after slipping out of the champ’s submission attempts. All three scorecards read 49-46 in Edwards’ favor.

“I grappled with him to shut down this striker vs. grappler narrative,” Edwards said. “I started as a mixed martial artist.”

Edwards extended his undefeated streak to 13 fights, dating back to a December 2015 loss to Kamaru Usman that he twice avenged. Covington has alternated wins and losses in his last six fights and is 0-3 in title fights.

CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Saturday bringing you all the results and highlights from the UFC 296 below.

UFC 296 card and results

  • Leon Edwards (c) def. Colby Covington via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
  • Alexandre Pantoja (c) def. Brandon Royval via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
  • Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Stephen Thompson via second-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Paddy Pimblett def. Tony Ferguson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Josh Emmett def. Bryce Mitchell via first-round knockout (punch)
  • Alonzo Menifield def. Dustin Jacoby via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Irene Aldana def. Karol Rosa via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Cody Garbrandt def. Brian Kelleher via first-round knockout (punches)
  • Ariane Lipski def. Casey O’Neill via second-round submission (armbar)
  • Tagir Ulanbekov def. Cody Durden via second-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Andre Fili def. Luca Almeida via first-round TKO (punches)
  • Shamil Gaziev def. Martin Buday via second-round TKO (punches)

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