Leon Edwards: Record, next fight, KOs, height and everything you need to know

All Leon “Rocky” Edwards’ key professional statistics including next fight, record and best knockouts.

By George Mills Published: 15 March 2023 - 5.49pm

One of the UK’s most underappreciated fighters is finally getting his flowers after dethroning the dominant welterweight force that is Kamaru Usman to lift the welterweight crown at UFC 278.

Leon Edwards is Britain’s second-ever UFC champion, following in the footsteps of Michael Bisping’s 2016 middleweight triumph, after the Birmingham native produced one of the most incredible finishes in UFC history to knock Usman out cold in the final round.

Edwards has been a mainstay of British MMA in the UFC since joining the company in 2014, signing for the sport’s biggest promotion as the reigning BAMMA welterweight champion.

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He was beaten on his debut in a split-decision loss to Brazil’s Claudio “Hannibal” Silva but bounced back immediately on his next Octagon assignment, knocking out Seth Baczynski after just eight seconds with a cracking left hook.

That is currently the joint-seventh-fastest finish in the history of the UFC and the fastest-ever by a British fighter in the promotion.

A subsequent unanimous-decision win over Pawel Pawlak then paved the way for a career-defining showdown against the eventual champion, Usman, in December 2015.

Buried on the early prelims of the UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs Cowboy 2 card in Orlando, Florida, the fight went Usman’s way on points after a competitive three-round scrap that saw a raw Edwards come up against the better man on the night.

However, that is the last time 30-year-old Edwards has tasted defeat, with the man nicknamed “Rocky” fighting back to quietly piece together one of the promotion’s longest undefeated streaks.

Today, that run now stands at 11 and includes the high-profile scalps of Usman, Nate Diaz, Rafael dos Anjos, Cowboy Cerrone and Vicente Luque.

Edwards’ preference to let his fists, rather than his mouth, do the talking probably hindered his progress up the welterweight rankings in recent years.

But as one of Britain’s flagship exports in the world of MMA, Edwards has now finally been getting the recognition his recent endeavours have deserved as the new undisputed champion of the world.

Leon Edwards: Record

Leon Edwards’ MMA record stand at 20 wins, 3 losses and 1 no contest.

Only two of those losses have come in the UFC, one to Claudio Silva on debut in November 2014 and the other to the man who would become champion, Kamaru Usman in December 2015.

He’s racked up 12 wins in the UFC, defeating high-calibre opposition such as former pound-for-pound king Usman, ex-lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos, Gunnar Nelson, Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz.

The lone “no contest” on his record came after an unfortunate eye poke ended his 2021 showdown against Belal Muhammad in the second round, putting the brakes on what was shaping up to be an impressive performance from the Briton.

Only former champ Usman had a longer active undefeated record in the welterweight division than Edwards - but now Edwards’ 11-fight unbeaten streak sees him become the most in-form man in the division.

Leon Edwards: Next fight

Leon Edwards will face Kamaru Usman in a trilogy fight at UFC 286 in London at The O2 on Saturday 18 March after promising the “Nigerian Nightmare” following their latest meeting in Salt Lake City that the pair could settle their rivalry, with their head-to-head record currently at one win apiece. 

Leon Edwards: Knockouts

Not renowned as a fighter reliant on huge knockout power, Leon Edwards’ list of UFC stoppages is short but contains some jaw-dropping achievements.

In April 2015, he recorded what was then the sixth-fastest KO in UFC history as he bounced back from defeat on debut against Claudio Silva to halt Seth Baczynski in lightning-fast time.

And at UFC 278, Edwards produced arguably the most shocking and memorable finish in the history of the promotion as he stunned Kamaru Usman with a brutal head-kick knockout to snatch the 170lb belt from his grasp.

A rear-naked choke submission win against Albert Tumenov in October 2016 and his TKO win against Peter Sobotta in March 2018 are the only other finishes Edwards has recorded in the UFC.

Leon Edwards: Height

The Jamaican-born star is listed as 6ft on the nose, making him around average height among his welterweight peers.

His reach is listed as 74in.

Leon Edwards: Weight

Leon Edwards has campaigned at the 170lb welterweight limit for all but one of his 24 career bouts in MMA. 

The exception was a middleweight contest in only his second professional MMA fight as he defeated Pawel Zwiefka in November 2011.