When Edwards knocked out Usman last summer, at the last minute of a match he was about to lose, it was sensational.
But this week, the Briton has shone with confidence and been confident of victory. Even so, the oddsmakers have kept challenger Usman as the favorite. The Nigerian hadn't lost in ten years until last summer.
At the night's big gala in London, in front of 17,588 spectators in a sold-out O2 Arena, Edwards won a majority verdict by the numbers of 48-46, 48-46, 47-47.
That's despite being stripped of a point after clinging to the fence at one point to stay standing.
- Hats off to Usman who has been my toughest opponent. He's a great competitor," Edwards said afterward.
Edwards: "That was the plan"
The Briton's tactic was to copy the magic head kick that ended the match last summer.
To get there, he kicked more than ever before, but against the body and legs of Usman, to make him open a gap in the defense.
"Yes, that was the plan, I wanted to get him to lower his hands, but he has worked on it with his coach and defended perfectly.
In the fifth round, Edwards finally unleashed some heavy head kicks, but none that hit clean.
Usman: "Not finished yet"
Kamaru Usman had 15 straight victories in the UFC and was ranked number one in the world this summer. Now he has two straight losses.
But the 35-year-old doesn't see the end for that.
"I'm not finished yet, me and Leon will probably meet again. I don't want to be away for too long because then I'll get ants in the brawl, but now I get to sit down and talk to my coaches about the next step," Usman said.
When the verdict was called out, he was noticeably disappointed with the result.
"I think I did enough to win, but I knew it was an even game and Leon had a great tactic.
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UFC star Kamaru Usman: 'I would have loved to face Khamzat Chimaev' Photo: TT/Bildbyrån