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UFC 296: Leon Edwards and Alexandre Pantoja defend titles, Shavkhat Rakhmonov continues incredible finishing streak

UFC Welterweight Champion Leon Edwards defended his title against Colby Covington at UFC 296 in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

The 32-year-old Briton claimed a 12th successive win and a second successful defence as he secured a unanimous decision over his American opponent, 35, with the judges scoring it 49-46, 49-46, 49-46 in his favour in front of former US president Donald Trump.

Covington had sparked controversy during the build-up to the fight, promising to take the Birmingham fighter to "hell" to meet his late father, who was murdered in London in 2004.

Speaking in the octagon afterwards, Edwards said: "This fight was very emotional for me. This guy used my dad's death as entertainment, he used my dad's murder as entertainment and it took a lot for me to calm down, stay focused and come into this fight.

"Covington is a great competitor but a dirty human being."

In the co-main event,  flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja defeated Brandon Royval via unanimous decision. The pair put on a relentless pace for all five rounds, with Pantoja dominating the wrestling exchanges and landing several takedowns.

Elsewhere, Kazakhstan star Shavkhat Rakhmonov improved his record to 18 fights and 18 finishes when he choked out Stephen Thompson in the second round. A big name, or even a title shot surely awaits the dangerous Rakhmonov.

Fan favourite Tony Ferguson looked better but continued his slide of losses when Paddy Pimblett ground out a decision win. Finally, Josh Emmett sent Bryce Mitchell to the shadow realm with a Performance of the Night winning right hand in the first round. 

READ MORE: Nathan Kelly opens up on Bellator and PFL $1m possibilities after main event success in Dublin

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