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23rd Jun 2018

Birmingham’s Leon Edwards gets biggest win of career at expense of UFC legend Donald Cerrone

What a war!

Darragh Murphy

For a man viewed by a couple of British fighters recently as a crucial career stepping stone, Donald Cerrone doesn’t go down without a fight.

Cerrone provided Liverpool’s Darren Till with a springboard into the upper echelons of the welterweight division and he did the same on Saturday, when he engaged in an all-out war with Birmingham 170lber, Leon Edwards.

Edwards extended his winning streak to six consecutive fights when he proved quicker off the mark over five rounds against the wily veteran ‘Cowboy’ and announced himself as a legitimate contender in one of the UFC’s most talent-stacked divisions.

The British southpaw came sprinting out of the traps in the UFC Singapore main event and quickly opened up a nasty cut over the right eye of Cerrone, a former UFC lightweight challenger, which made Saturday’s headliner a blood-soaked affair.

There was no doubting that Edwards came out on top in the opening pair of rounds but he did allow Cerrone back into the contest in the second half of the fight, although the Brit did just enough to claim his highest profile scalp to date by earning a unanimous decision.

The three judges were in agreement with their 48-47 scorecards, likely propelling Edwards into the top ten of the welterweight rankings when they are updated next week.

There might have been an element of bad blood in the build-up to Saturday’s headliner but there was nothing but respect when the final buzzer sounded at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

“I just want to thank ‘Cowboy’ for giving me the opportunity. I looked up to him as a young kid,” Edwards said in his post-fight interview.

“It was an honour for me to fight him in here tonight.

“Who said I can’t go five rounds? I’ll go five rounds with ease.

“Sean Shelby, UFC Birmingham, me against Jorge Masvidal, let’s go! Make it happen.”