Leon “Rocky” Edwards reigns supreme in the much hyped Edwards vs Covington clash, silencing Covington’s pre-fight trash talk with a dominant decision in UFC 296’s final clash.

Edwards’ tactical brilliance shines, outmanoeuvring Covington’s pressure with precise counters and footwork control, scoring a unanimous decision victory (49-46, 49-46, 49-46).

Edwards’ unbeaten run reaches 13, claiming sole possession of 2nd longest welterweight winning streak. He was last defeated about 8 years ago. Covington’s struggles continue with a third loss in five fights.

In the co-main event of the night, Pantoja’s flyweight dominance extends, securing his first successful title defence against a valiant Royval, whose winning streak ends at three.

Elsewhere on the card, Rakhmonov’s perfect record remains flawless with a submission win, staking his claim for a title shot. His undefeated record extends to 18-0 as a pro, submitting Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson for the first time in his career.

On the other hand, Pimblett rebounds from injury with a dominant victory, while Ferguson’s losing streak reaches seven. Though Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett seemed out of gas by the third round, he steals the show with a unanimous decision victory

Also, the final UFC PPV of the year explodes with Emmett’s devastating knockout of Mitchell, leaving a lasting mark on fight night.

Stay with us for Edwards vs Covington UFC 296 highlights, play-by-play coverage, and much more in the following passage.

UFC 296 Results

  • Main Event UFC 296: Leon Edwards defeats Colby Covington by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
  • Co-Main Event: Alexandre Pantoja defeats Brandon Royval by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
  • Welterweight Bout: Shavkat Rakhmonov defeats Stephen Thompson by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:56 of Round 2
  • Lightweight Bout: Paddy Pimblett defeats Tony Ferguson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Featherweight Bout: Josh Emmett defeats Bryce Mitchell by KO (right hand) at 1:57 of Round 1

UFC 296: Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington Play-by-Play

From the opening bell, Edwards orchestrated the fight. He controlled the pace, engaging with Covington only on his terms. Crisp jabs and potent kicks, targeting head, body, and legs, dissected his opponent. While Covington’s renowned pressure and wrestling are usually his weapons, they remained surprisingly muted, especially early on.

The challenger showed more spark in later rounds, finding success when Edwards ventured into his grappling domain. Both scored takedowns in the final round, with Covington closing on top after escaping a submission attempt. Despite this late flurry, Edwards’ dominance throughout secured him the unanimous decision victory (49-46, 49-46, 49-46).

As the new face of RDX, Edwards has added a strategic edge to his already impressive arsenal.

Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington Round-1

Edwards sets the pace, controlling distance and peppering Covington with leg kicks. Covington hesitant, one takedown attempt easily stuffed. Dangerous front kicks land for Edwards. Easy round for the champion.

Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington Round-2

More dominance from Edwards. Covington’s speed disadvantage keeps him guessing. Edwards’ jabs and leg kicks pile up points. Covington struggles to find his rhythm. Another clear round for Edwards.

Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington Round-3

Covington faces urgency. Covington finally secures a takedown, but Edwards pops right back up, then takes Covington down himself. Round mostly on the feet, Edwards effortlessly controls the space and continues punishing the lead leg. Edwards’ dominance reaches another level.

Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington Round-4

A glimmer of hope for Covington. Lands some good left hands, but Edwards counters with effective leg and body kicks. Grappling exchanges even, both score takedowns and reversals. Round goes to Edwards by a hair.

Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington Round-5

An unexpected ending. Covington takes down early, but Edwards rises and scores his own takedown. Edwards tries for an armbar, ultimately ending up on bottom. Covington controls the rest of the round, but fails to capitalize. Close round for Covington, but not enough to steal the fight.

Edwards vs Covington Final Verdict

Edwards retains his title with a dominant performance in the most anticipated Edwards vs Covington clash. He controlled the pace, distance, and striking throughout the fight, showcasing superior speed and technique. Covington showed flashes of fight in the later rounds, but ultimately couldn’t overcome Edwards’ well-rounded game plan.

UFC 296: Alexandre Pantoja vs Brandon Royval

Pantoja, Brazil’s flyweight champ, dominates Royval in a unanimous decision at UFC 296. Despite mid-fight fatigue, Pantoja showcases superior ground control, earning judges’ scores of 50-45, 50-45, and 49-46.

Pantoja, with a record of 27-5, secures his second win over Royval, displaying grappling prowess. Royval’s jab impresses on the feet, but eight takedowns favor Pantoja. The champ’s ground game includes guard passes and near submissions.

While Royval excels with jabs and visible resilience, Pantoja’s right hand rattles him in the second round. Pantoja’s kicks and ground control prove effective. Despite Royval’s late momentum with jabs, Pantoja’s takedown seals the win.

Pantoja, victorious over Royval twice, asserts himself as the top flyweight globally. Three wins over former champ Moreno solidify his reign. Pantoja’s multifaceted skills shine, establishing him as the undeniable flyweight kingpin.

UFC 296: Shavkat Rakhmonov vs Stephen Thompson

Rakhmonov’s grappling masterclass silenced any lingering doubts, leaving “Wonderboy” submitted and the welterweight landscape shaken.

Undefeated Rakhmonov choked out the renowned striker in round two, etching his name in history as the first to submit “Wonderboy” and marking a perfect 18 finishes in 18 wins. A title shot beckons.

Rakhmonov’s post-fight declaration rang loud:

“The winner of the title, I’m ready to fight him.”

His dominance leaves the welterweight title picture with a clear contender.

Rakhmonov’s stifling clinch smothered “Wonderboy’s” karate arsenal. A second-round takedown and slick rear-naked choke from an awkward angle cemented his mastery.

At 6-0 in the UFC, Rakhmonov stands a single win away from welterweight gold. The Kazakh grappler, with his M-1 Global championship pedigree, looks poised to claim the throne.

40-year-old Thompson’s TKO streak met its end against Rakhmonov’s submission. The “Wonderboy”, a UFC mainstay at 12-6-1, faces a crossroads at this stage of his legendary career.

UFC 296: Paddy Pimblett vs Tony Ferguson

Pimblett (28) unleashed a dominant performance, leaving veteran fighter Ferguson behind with a unanimous 30-27 scorecard sweep. This helps him improve his record to 5-0 in the UFC.

Youthful aggression trumped veteran grit as Pimblett outgunned Ferguson with stinging right hands and a flying knee in round one. His stifling ground control in the second and third cemented a dominant decision victory, despite a late rally from a tiring “El Cucuy”.

Ferguson landed some blows, bloodied Pimblett’s nose, and even threatened with elbows from his back. But “The Baddy” dominated the fight, racking up nearly nine minutes of control and shutting down Ferguson’s submission attempts. This injury comeback win marks Pimblett’s first of 2023, following a year of absence and a contentious victory over Gordon.

A quick Octagon exit reflected Ferguson’s bitter defeat, extending his losing streak to seven despite his insistence that retirement remains distant. Seven losses. At 40, Ferguson’s once unstoppable momentum has stalled, leaving his future shrouded in questions.

UFC 296: Josh Emmett vs Bryce Mitchell

Taking a gamble on a short-notice opponent paid off handsomely for Josh Emmett, as he unleashed a thunderous right hand that detonated right on Bryce Mitchell’s nose. The impact was brutal, Mitchell stiffened instantly, and the referee waved off the fight at 1:56 of the first round. Mitchell remained unconscious for over 30 seconds after the devastating blow.

This one-punch KO might be the most violent you’ll witness this year. It was a stunning turnaround for Emmett, 38, who had suffered back-to-back losses before stepping into the cage against Mitchell.

“I am the most powerful featherweight in the world,” Emmett declared in his post-fight interview. “It only takes one shot.”

The California native’s message is undeniable, and now with his knockout prowess on full display, Emmett has re-entered the featherweight title picture in emphatic fashion. Mitchell, 29, had shown promise with alternating wins and losses in his recent bouts, but stepping in as a late replacement wasn’t enough to withstand Emmett’s raw power.

This fight serves as a reminder of the volatile nature of MMA, where one well-placed strike can rewrite the narrative in a split second.

Final Word

UFC 296 crowned new kings and left legacies in tatters. Edwards silenced Covington’s taunts with tactical dominance, while Rakhmonov’s grapple smothered “Wonderboy’s” legend. Pimblett’s youth outgunned Ferguson’s grit, and Emmett’s KO roared a reminder of MMA’s brutal beauty. Through triumph and despair, one truth echoed: the fight never ends. From RDX Sports, Happy New Year! May your own battles, inside and out, be fought with the unyielding spirit of the Octagon. Victory awaits, champions. Onward to 2024!

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