Leon Edwards is on route to his first promotional title challenge, via a dominant unanimous decision win over Nate Diaz over the course of five, composed and dominant rounds.
Edwards starts the opening round, taking the centre of the Octagon, forcing Diaz to fight off the fence in the early goings. Some real gamesman ship from Diaz in the opening minute and a half, turning his back and then rushing toward Edwards. The Birmingham native landing a couple of notable leg kicks early.
Some good clinch work from Diaz with just under two minutes left in the clock, although, Edwards does eventually take the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu product’s back from the ground. Diaz eventually scrambles and recovers full guard before the klaxon as Edwards allows him to stand back up. First round for the #3 ranked, Edwards.
Another nasty low calf kick lands for Edwards to open up the second round as Diaz reaches and attempts to land with some pawing counters with his hands. Some interesting shots in the pocket from both, as Diaz ties up in the clinch. Another successful takedown for Edwards again at the fence. Diaz briefly threatens with a heel hook attempt. Edwards counters once more and Diaz acknowledges the shot. Another round in the books for Edwards — Diaz looking better though.
Good counter left hand from Edwards early in the third catches Diaz off balance, and draws a nod from the Stockton native. A third successful takedown for Edwards arrives as he moves into half guard. A good ground strikes opens Diaz up quite significantly — to the side of his head, as well as his eyebrow.
Diaz scrambles and Edwards manages to take his back once again. Diaz looking quite bloodied here again before the close of the third round.
Good left hand from Edwards within the opening minute and a half of the fourth round results in somewhat of a stumble from Diaz. Good left hand lands for Diaz at the fence after he points at Edwards’ left leg, insinuating that he checked his most recent leg kick attempt. Fantastic elbow from Edwards in the clinch opens Diaz’s cut on his head again.
Edwards gets clipped with a real notable counter left from Diaz with just under three minutes remaining in the fifth and final round, which draws some back peddling from the former. Edwards ties up in the single collar clinch and lands a good uppercut and left hand over the top.
Wobbling Edwards with a massive straight left hand, Diaz began pouring it on and again shook Edwards to the core with another right hand, forcing a real significant wobble, before he managed to gather his wits and survive. Edwards takes a decision win, however, not without a late scare.
Catch the highlights below from an entertaining five round bout.