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The year is complete for UFC after a wild final PPV event in 2023. UFC 296 is in the books with the two champions who entered the night still reigning over their divisions. Leon Edwards turned away Colby Covington's third chance at welterweight gold in a decision win and Alexandre Pantoja did the same to Brandon Royval in their rematch for the flyweight crown.

Edwards picked apart Covington at range for the majority of their five-round affair as Covington seemed content to stay at range instead of his typical wrestling and grappling style. The times that he did go in for takedowns, he was stuffed and reversed by Edwards, who showed a complete game in retaining his crown.

Pantoja, meanwhile, was a cardio machine against Royval as he outgrappled his opponent and suffocated him with pressure. Royval had a few moments in the final round as both guys wore down, but Pantoja still ended the fight on top and in possession of his title.

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Elsewhere on the card, Shavkat Rakhmonov staked his claim to a title shot with a submission win over Stephen Thompson. Rakhmonov continues to maintain a perfect finishing rate in 18 pro fights. Plus, Paddy Pimblett poured it on Tony Ferguson early and never backed off as he bounced back from injury to get the win while Ferguson dropped his seventh consecutive fight. And Josh Emmett delivered one of the most devastating knockouts in recent memory against Bryce Mitchell to open the PPV.

CBS Sports was with you throughout fight week with the latest news, in-depth features and betting advice to consider. Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you next year beginning with UFC 297 in January.

UFC 296 fight card, results

  • Leon Edwards (c) def. Colby Covington via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
  • Alexandre Pantoja (c) def. Brandon Royval via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
  • Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Stephen Thompson via second-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Paddy Pimblett def. Tony Ferguson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Josh Emmett def. Bryce Mitchell via first-round knockout (punch)
  • Alonzo Menifield def. Dustin Jacoby via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Irene Aldana def. Karol Rosa via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Cody Garbrandt def. Brian Kelleher via first-round knockout (punches)
  • Ariane Lipski def. Casey O'Neill via second-round submission (armbar)
  • Tagir Ulanbekov def. Cody Durden via second-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Andre Fili def. Luca Almeida via first-round TKO (punches)
  • Shamil Gaziev def. Martin Buday via second-round TKO (punches)

UFC 296 countdown