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UFC 296 live updates: Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington results, highlights, analysis; Pantoja retains title ‣

UFC 296 live updates: Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington results, highlights, analysis; Pantoja retains title

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 15: (L-R) Opponents Leon Edwards of Jamaica and Colby Covington face off during the UFC 296 ceremonial weigh-in at MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 15, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After a heated fight week promotion, welterweight champion Leon Edwards and Colby Covington will meet in Saturday’s main event at UFC 296. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

It’s the last day of the year to watch some UFC action, including the two world title fights headlining UFC 296 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Welterweight champion Leon Edwards, who is 21-3 overall and unbeaten in his past 12 fights, will defend his title belt against No. 3-ranked Colby Covington in the main event. “Chaos” is 1-2 in title fights, with two losses to former champion Kamaru Usman and a win over Rafael dos Anjos in June 2018 for the interim welterweight title, which he was later stripped of due to injury.

Edwards shocked the world when he won the title via a late head-kick knockout of Usman in August 2022. Usman had defeated Edwards in 2015 when they were both welterweight contenders. But Edwards made sure his title win over Usman was no fluke when they met in a rubber match earlier this year at UFC 286, as Edwards won via unanimous decision.

Edwards is currently a -150 favorite at BetMGM, with Covington at +125. Edwards by decision is +150, while Covington by decision is +225.

In the co-main event, champion Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Royval went the distance with Pantoja coming out on top. The Brazilian retained his title via unanimous decision with a dominant outing and now has the second most wins in the UFC’s flyweight division with 11.

Also on the main card, Shavkat Rakhmonov improved his undefeated record to 18-0 with a second-round submission of veteran Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. It was the first time in Thompson’s pro career that he was finished by submission.

In his main card matchup against Paddy Pimblett, former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson looked nothing like his former self and ended up losing his seventh fight in a row. On the other hand, Pimblett struggled to finish a 40-year-old Ferguson and seemed to be gassed out by the third round. Pimblett won 30-27 on all three judges’ scorecards.

Featherweights Josh Emmett and Bryce Mitchell opened the pay-per-view card in a short-notice fight after Emmett’s original opponent, Giga Chikadze, injured his groin in training and was forced to withdraw. The fight lasted less than two minutes as Emmett landed an epic overhand right that instantly knocked out Mitchell, who was seen going into convulsions after the finish.

For complete coverage of UFC 296, stay here on Yahoo Sports and follow our live updates below (starting at 6:30 p.m. ET) throughout the entire event.

Live126 updates

  • On his way to the Octagon, Colby Covington stopped to talk to Trump for a few seconds.

  • Pantoja retains the flyweight title via unanimous decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46.

  • Pantoja mostly dominated Royval until gassing out late. Tough fight, but the champ should retain the title.

  • Pantoja takes Royval’s back and now the action inside the Octagon is taking place directly in front of former President Donald Trump.

  • Pantoja shoots and gets the takedown immediately after the fourth round begins.

  • Pantoja starting to slow down, but is still mostly putting it on Royval. The champ ends Round 3 on top. He’s breathing heavy in his corner

  • Pantoja looking strong and mostly cruising against Royval. He even had Royval wobbly in Round 2. He gets another takedown now in Round 3.

UFC 296: Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington main card, odds (Live now on ESPN+ PPV)

• Welterweight championship: Leon Edwards (c) (-160) vs. Colby Covington (+135)
• Flyweight championship: Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Royval via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
• Welterweight: Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Stephen Thompson by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:56 of Round 2
• Lightweight: Paddy Pimblett def. Tony Ferguson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
• Featherweight: Josh Emmett def. Bryce Mitchell by KO (punch) at 1:57 of Round 1:

UFC 296: Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington prelims results, highlights

• Light heavyweight: Alonzo Menifield def. Dustin Jacoby by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Women’s bantamweight: Irene Aldana def. Karol Rosa by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Bantamweight: Cody Garbrandt def. Brian Kelleher by KO (punch) at 3:42 of Round 1:

• Women’s flyweight: Ariane Lipski def. Casey O’Neill by submission (armbar) at 1:18 of Round 2:

UFC 296 early prelims full results, highlights

• Flyweight: Tagir Ulanbekov def. Cody Durden via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:25 of Round 2:

• Featherweight: Andre Fili def. Lucas Almeida via TKO (ground and pound) at 3:32 of Round 1:

• Heavyweight: Shamil Gaziev def. Martin Buday via TKO (strikes) at 0:56 of Round 2:

How to watch UFC 296 without cable

  • ExpressVPN

    Stream UFC 295 through TNT Sports and save on PPV with ExpressVPN

Date: Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023
Prelims time: 8 p.m. ET
Main card time: 10 p.m. ET
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Streaming: ESPN+

Where to stream UFC 296 on Saturday

(Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

For ESPN+ subscribers, UFC 296 is available to purchase through ESPN+ for $80. If you aren’t already subscribed to ESPN+, new users can bundle UFC 296 in with the cost of an annual subscription for a 30% discount, bringing your total to $134.98. UFC 296 prelims will be available to stream at no extra cost to ESPN+ subscribers. An ESPN+ subscription starts at $11 a month and grants you access to exclusive ESPN+ content, including all UFC PPV prelims, other live events, fantasy sports tools and premium ESPN+ articles.

$80 at ESPN+

How to watch UFC 296 without ESPN+ or paying for PPV in the U.S.

  • ExpressVPN

    Stream UFC 296 through TNT Sports and save on PPV with ExpressVPN

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