Edwards to defend UFC Welterweight title against Colby Covington at UFC 296 in December

By Sports Desk September 23, 2023

Leon Edwards will defend his welterweight title against Colby Covington in the UFC 296 main event on December 16 in Las Vegas.

The 32-year-old Kingston-born Edwards has not lost in his last 12 fights, and he is 21-3 with one no-contest lifetime. He most recently defeated ex-champ Kamaru Usman by majority decision in March to defend his belt. Edwards first won the belt with a come-from-behind knockout over Usman at UFC 278 in August last year.

The 35-year-old Covington is coming off a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal in March. Covington, who is 17-3 lifetime, has previously fought for the UFC welterweight belt twice, losing to Usman on both occasions.

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  • Leon Edwards brings in sleep specialist ahead of UFC title defense against Belal Muhammad Leon Edwards brings in sleep specialist ahead of UFC title defense against Belal Muhammad

    Leon "Rocky" Edwards is leaving no stone unturned as he prepares for his upcoming UFC welterweight title defence against Belal Muhammad. The reigning champion has enlisted the help of a sleep specialist to adjust his body clock to the unusual start time of his fight, set for approximately 5am UK time.

    The highly anticipated bout will headline UFC 304 at Manchester’s new Co-op Live Arena on July 27. Despite being held in England, the event’s schedule has been adjusted to cater to American audiences, with the first prelim starting at 11pm UK time and the main card kicking off at 3am. This late-night timeline is a significant departure from the typical 11pm main event start time that British MMA fans are accustomed to.

    In an interview with talkSPORT Drive’s Andy Goldstein and Darren Bent, Edwards shared his initial reaction to the unconventional fight schedule. "At the start, I was bit like 'Oh, why is it that time?'" Edwards admitted. However, he quickly adapted by seeking professional help. "I've brought in a specialist in sleep and they've given me a plan of how it will work."

    The sleep specialist's plan involves gradually shifting Edwards' daily routine to align with the fight's late start time. "I thought I'd have to train at 5am in the morning every day straight away but they said basically 'Six weeks out we'll start switching your body clock and training'," Edwards explained.

    The process includes adjusting his training sessions incrementally. "So my evening session will now become my first session, so at 5pm I'll do my first session and then I'll train again at midnight. And then each week I'll move both sessions forward an hour to adjust to the time so I'll sleep later and train later," he elaborated.

    This strategic approach aims to ensure that Edwards will be at peak performance when he steps into the octagon in the early hours of the morning.

    The fight holds additional significance given the history between Edwards and Muhammad. Their last encounter in March 2021 at UFC Fight Night 187 in Las Vegas ended in a no-contest due to an accidental eye poke from Edwards that rendered Muhammad unable to continue. This rematch offers both fighters a chance to settle the score and for Edwards, an opportunity to solidify his reign as the welterweight champion.

    As the fight approaches, all eyes will be on Edwards to see if his meticulous preparation, including his innovative approach to adjusting his sleep schedule, will give him the edge he needs to defend his title successfully against a formidable opponent in Belal Muhammad.





  • Brown overcomes broken foot to defeat dos Santos by unanimous decision at UFC 302 Brown overcomes broken foot to defeat dos Santos by unanimous decision at UFC 302

    Jamaican Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight secured his third win in a row and seventh win in his last eight fights with a unanimous decision victory over Brazilian veteran Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos at UFC 302 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday.

    The 33-year-old Brown won two out of three rounds on all three of the judges scorecards to move his overall MMA record to 19-5.

    Despite the win, Brown, in the post-fight interview, maintained that he still has work to do to get to where he needs to be to be a top contender.

    “Still not happy. We got work to do. Skills pay the bills,” Brown said.

    Brown then gave love to his Jamaican fans.

    “You know I have to big up Jamaica. I have to big up all my people. We’re here on the biggest stage doing a lot. Big up Spanish Town, Old Harbour, the whole of St. Catherine,” Brown said.

    The night could’ve gone much differently for Brown as he fought the final two rounds of the fight with a broken foot.

    “I broke the foot close to the big toe knuckle at the instep,” he told SportsMax.tv on Tuesday.

    “It happened one minute into the first round,” he added.

    When asked about who he wants to fight next, Brown called out number 10 ranked Welterweight, Geoff Neal.

    “Come on Geoff Neal, it’s my time. I didn’t get the finish tonight but I’ve got to get to the top 15. I’m on a mission right now. It’s my time and I’ll do whatever it takes,” he said.

    “Geoff Neal, you are that guy right now and I need you. Come on let’s do this. You don’t have a fight so let’s go,” he added.

    Neal is 2-3 in his last five fights and has an overall record of 15-6 in MMA.





  • “Fans are in for a treat”: Brown excited for dos Santos clash at UFC 302 “Fans are in for a treat”: Brown excited for dos Santos clash at UFC 302

    Jamaican Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Randy Brown will get another chance to display his skills when he competes at UFC 302 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday.

    The 33-year-old will take on Brazilian Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in a three-round bout to open up the five-fight main card of the event to be headlined by a UFC Lightweight Championship main event between current champion Islam Makhachev (25-1) and former interim champion Dustin Poirier (30-8).

    Makhachev is currently ranked as the number one pound-for-pound MMA fighter in the world.

    Brown enters this fight with a record of 18-5 including wins in six of his last seven fights with his only loss coming by submission against Australian Jack Della Maddalena, currently the UFC’s fifth-ranked welterweight, at UFC 284 in Perth last February.

    “Just being more deliberate,” was Brown’s response when asked what has led to his recent success at UFC 302 media day on Wednesday.

    “Not really just throwing out different things at once. Having a better understanding of the tools that I have and being able be deliberate with those things instead of doing too much. Sometimes less is more,” he added.

    His opponent Dos Santos is four years his elder and has more experience, coming in with a record of 24-7. His last three fights have earned him two wins and a draw.

    Brown's opponent at UFC 302, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos.

    Brown, while acknowledging the edge dos Santos has in experience, believes his style will be too much for the veteran.

    “I think he’s good. He’s a crafty vet who’s been around a long time. He’s experienced, seen it all. I think our styles match up well and I think the fans are in for a treat,” he said.

    “I’m expecting top form. Like I said, he’s been around and seen it all. Styles make fights and I think I have a great style to hinder his abilities and he has a great style to bring the best out of me. It’s a matter of who can go out there and initiate their game plan,” he added.







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