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  • Tarrian Rodgers

Leon Edwards silences brash talking Colby Covington to retain title

All of welterweight title challenger Colby Covington (17-5) trash talk had little merit when it came time to actually fight Saturday as defending welterweight champion Leon Edwards (22-3, 1NC) cruised to what was an easy victory in what was the last UFC fight of 2023. The fight was an emotional one for Edwards as Covington took pre fight trash talking too far after negatively mentioning Edwards' father during Thursday’s press conference. Edwards' father was murdered when Edwards was a teenager.

"This fight was very emotional for me," Edwards said post fight. "He used my dad's death for entertainment."After the press conference I was crying ... He's a good competitor but he's a dirty human being."

The fight was completely one sided up until the 5th round as Edwards allowed Covington to do some late groundwork. Rounds 1-4 the champ Edwards attacked Covington’s lead leg with hard leg kicks. Edwards made it so that Covington couldn’t shoot off that lead leg for a takedown. Edwards is as hot as any fighter in the world. He took home four trophies on Thursday night at the Fighters Only World MMA Awards, including Fighter of the Year. He is unbeaten in 13 straight fights dating to 2015, and now has sole possession of the second longest winning streak in welterweight history. Edwards entered the bout as the No.4 ranked fighter pound for pound. Covington has now lost three of his last five fights.

Covington blamed ring rust as the reason for his loss and he even claimed that he won and praised Donald Trump in his usual demeanor. This loss does sting as Covington is on the wrong side of 35 years old with three straight title losses. Covington who was the favorite coming into the fight was met with a chorus of boos before he cussed at the angry crowd. 

In the co-main event, champion Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Royval went the distance with Pantoja coming out on top. The Brazilian retained his title via unanimous decision with a dominant outing and now has the second most wins in the UFC's flyweight division with 11.

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