UFC 296 LIVE: Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington fight updates and results tonight

Rio Ferdinand puts UFC champion Leon Edwards in chokehold

Leon Edwards will defend the welterweight title against Colby Covington in the main event of UFC 296 tonight.

Edwards won the belt with a stunning knockout of Kamaru Usman in 2022, before retaining the gold against his old foe in London in March. Now the Jamaican-born Briton makes his second title defence, as he faces the controversial Covington.

The American, 35, previously held the interim title, but he twice failed to dethrone Usman – losing to the “Nigerian Nightmare” via TKO in 2019 and on points in 2021. Covington bounced back each time, however, most recently dominating Jorge Masvidal for a decision victory.

That win over his friend-turned-rival came 21 months ago, however, and Edwards will look to exploit any potential ring rust that Covington has. Edwards, 32, will also look to punish Covington, after the American insulted the champion’s late father at this week’s press conference.

In the co-main event, Alexandre Pantoja defends his flyweight belt in a rematch with Brandon Royval, while other highlight bouts include Paddy Pimblett vs Tony Ferguson and Shavkat Rakhmonov vs Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Follow live updates and results from the prelims, main card and main event of UFC 296, below.

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UFC 296 LIVE: Edwards vs Covington is technique against tenacity

Edwards has always had a calm aura about him, but he is tenacious; to highlight that Covington has that same quality in abundance is not to suggest that Edwards doesn’t. Similarly, to praise the beauty and efficiency of Edwards’s eclectic techniques is not to suggest that Covington is entirely raw or reckless. However, he is often wild.

The likelihood in tonight’s main event is that Covington, a cardio machine, will bear down on Edwards for as many of the 25 scheduled minutes as possible, forcing “Rocky” onto the back foot and to compromise on technique. The task for Edwards, then, will be to maintain that technique and to pick holes in the American’s frantic and sometimes faulty striking.

More thoughts on how Edwards vs Covington might play out – and why – here:

Alex Pattle17 December 2023 01:05

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UFC 296 LIVE: Colby Covington wears jacket featuring Donald Trump’s mugshot

Covington carried out his media-day duties for UFC 296 while sporting a jacket featuring Donald Trump’s mugshot.

Ex-US president Trump, who has expressed his intention to be present in Las Vegas tonight, is known to be friends with the controversial Covington.

Trump has attended numerous UFC events in recent years – and as recently as UFC 295 in November – and Covington paid tribute to the 77-year-old on Wednesday by turning up to a media day with a jacket featuring Trump’s mugshot.

Alex Pattle17 December 2023 00:50

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UFC 296 LIVE: Leon Edwards reacts as Colby Covington insults his late father

Let’s turn our attention to the main event.

Tensions between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington rose on Thursday, when the controversial American insulted Edwards’s late father at the pre-fight press conference.

Here’s what Covington said and how Edwards reacted:

Alex Pattle17 December 2023 00:35

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UFC 296 LIVE: Ian Machado Garry vs Vicente Luque cancelled

One great fight that is missing from the card? Ian Machado Garry vs Vicente Luque.

That highly-anticipated bout was called off this week after Machado Garry contracted pneumonia.

Alex Pattle17 December 2023 00:21

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UFC 296 LIVE: Fight card in full (subject to late changes)

Leon Edwards (C) vs Colby Covington (welterweight title)

Alexandre Pantoja (C) vs Brandon Royval 2 (flyweight title)

Shavkat Rahkmonov vs Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (welterweight)

Josh Emmett vs Bryce Mitchell (featherweight)

Alonzo Menifield vs Dustin Jacoby (light-heavyweight)

Irene Aldana vs Karol Rosa (women’s bantamweight)

Cody Garbrandt vs Brian Kelleher (bantamweight)

Casey O’Neill vs Ariane Lipski (women’s flyweight)

Tagir Ulanbekov vs Cody Durden (flyweight)

Andre Fili vs Lucas Almeida (featherweight)

Martin Buday vs Shamil Gaziev (heavyweight)

Alex Pattle17 December 2023 00:10

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UFC 296 LIVE: How to watch Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington

In the UK, the prelims will air live on TNT Sports 1 for subscribers, who can also watch those early fights on discovery+. The main card will then air live on TNT Sports Box Office, costing £19.99 and available to subscribers and non-subscribers. In the US, ESPN+ will stream the action live, as will the UFC’s Fight Pass.

If you’re travelling abroad and want to watch the event, you might need a VPN to unblock your streaming app. Our VPN round-up is here to help and includes deals on VPNs in the market. Viewers using a VPN need to make sure that they comply with any local regulations where they are and also with the terms of their service provider.

Alex Pattle16 December 2023 23:58

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UFC 296 LIVE: Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington start time

The early prelims just got under way at 11.30pm GMT (4.30pm PT, 6.30pm CT, 7.30pm ET), with the regular prelims set to follow at 1am GMT on Sunday (6pm PT, 8pm CT, 9pm ET on Saturday).

The main card is then due at 3am GMT on Sunday (8pm PT, 10pm CT, 11pm ET on Saturday).

We’ll begin our round-by-round fight updates later in the prelims. Until then, we’ve got all the important UFC information, analysis and news that you need.

Alex Pattle16 December 2023 23:44

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UFC 296 LIVE: Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington

Edwards won the belt with a stunning knockout of Kamaru Usman in 2022, before retaining the gold against his old foe in London in March. Now the Jamaican-born Briton makes his second title defence, as he faces the controversial Covington.

The American, 35, previously held the interim title, but he twice failed to dethrone Usman – losing to the “Nigerian Nightmare” via TKO in 2019 and on points in 2021. Covington bounced back each time, however, most recently dominating Jorge Masvidal for a decision victory.

In the co-main event, Alexandre Pantoja defends his flyweight belt in a rematch with Brandon Royval, while other highlight bouts include Paddy Pimblett vs Tony Ferguson and Shavkat Rakhmonov vs Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.

Leon Edwards (left) defends the welterweight title against Colby Covington

(Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Alexandre Pantoja (centre-left) defends the men’s flyweight title against old foe Brandon Royval

(Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Alex Pattle16 December 2023 23:30

Reference

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