UFC San Antonio Results: Leon Edwards Looks Brilliant in Win Over Rafael dos Anjos

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Leon Edwards UFC San Antonio
Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

Leon Edwards had a clean 25-minute performance to establish himself as a top welterweight contender against Rafael dos Anjos in the UFC San Antonio main event.

Leon Edwards was on the run of his career heading into UFC San Antonio. The 27-year-old Jamaican had won his previous seven UFC bouts, tallying victories over the likes of Donald Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson, and Vicente Luque. His most recent loss was to current UFC welterweight title-holder Kamaru Usman, which came in December of 2015. Although the line for a title-shot at welterweight might be a bit long, if Edwards keeps racking up the wins, a rematch with Usman won’t be far off.

Edwards faced arguably the toughest test of his career since that Usman bout when he stepped inside the Octagon with former UFC lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos. Dos Anjos found himself in a weird spot in the welterweight title-picture, going 4-2 since moving up to welterweight. The losses, to Usman and number one contender Colby Covington, have him on the outside-looking-in when it comes to a shot at the belt. While he works his way back, interesting matchups with Edwards and more aren’t hard to find in the 170-pound division.

Leon Edwards struck first with a three-punch combination, then ducked under a hook of Rafael dos Anjos to get a takedown from the clinch. Dos Anjos established butterfly hooks, but Edwards eventually passed to open guard then half guard. Edwards landed a heavy elbow, then dos Anjos landed a few of his own from his back. The Brazilian was able to escape by exposing his back, then standing up. He resisted a takedown, but ate a head kick on the exit. An elbow landed for Edwards followed by a clean two-punch combination. The round ended with Edwards pushing RDA against the cage.

Cageside Press Scored the Round 10-9 Edwards

Edwards started the second round with some effective striking, as RDA’s advances were not leading to much. Dos Anjos defended a takedown then landed an elbow on the exit. He ate one a pair of elbows from Edwards shortly after that cut dos Anjos open. A leg kick swept the leg out from under Edwards and RDA took top position. After some brief time spent in half guard, Edwards was able to get off his back and land a few clean combinations on dos Anjos.

Cageside Press Scored the Round 10-9 dos Anjos

Rafael dos Anjos started the middle round with kicks, going to both the body and the leg of Edwards. A minute into the round, dos Anjos shot for a takedown, but Edwards defended well. When the fight returned to the center of the cage, Edwards got back to his slick combinations. RDA was firing back effectively, but Edwards was in control. An elbow clocked RDA on the exit from a clinch, prompting a takedown attempt from dos Anjos. Edwards defended again, then spun RDA around, landing body shots against the cage until separated by the referee due to fence grabs. Edwards landed a smooth uppercut before the round came to a close.

Cageside Press Scored the Round 10-9 Edwards

Coming into the fourth round, dos Anjos needed to make something happen. He landed a heavy body kick early on, but Edwards answered with another combination. RDA continued to press forward, but the defensively sound Edwards limited the effectiveness of dos Anjos. Edwards continued to pump the jab, but dos Anjos was able to sneak in nice body shots at times. RDA threw a flying knee, but Edwards caught it and threw him to the canvas. He established half guard but dos Anjos countered with a single leg to stand-up, where he was reversed by Edwards and pushed against the fence for essentially the remainder of the round.

Cageside Press Scored the Round 10-9 Edwards

Leon Edwards landed a solid leg kick to start the final round. RDA pushed Edwards to the cage, but it didn’t last long, as Edwards spun him around and took control. Later on, Edwards landed a takedown off a separate clinch, but RDA popped back up. Dos Anjos landed a left hand as he attempted to rally, refusing to clinch up with Edwards. The Englishman landed another takedown late in the fight, and another as time was expiring off a dos Anjos flying knee.

Cageside Press Scored the Round 10-9 Edwards (49-46 Edwards)

Leon Edwards def. Rafael dos Anjos by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 49-46 x2)

Check out the rest of the results from UFC San Antonio here!

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