Ready to head to London and the O2 Arena for UFC 286?
To really enjoy the card, download The AllStar MMA Picks app, and make your picks. Tell your friends and win referral rewards when they download and join in. Create head-to-head challenges to play for bragging rights.
In the main event, Leon “Rocky” Edwards is on home soil as he defends his Welterweight title against Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman at UFC 286.
Be sure of this, expect Usman to be revved up and ready to take back his belt. The main event should be a banger.
On the main card, Saturday night in London:
- Main event: Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman, Welterweight title bout
- Co-main event: Justin Gaethje vs Rafael Fiziev, Lightweight bout
- Gunnar Nelson vs Bryan Barberena, Welterweight bout
- Jennifer Maia vs Casey O’Neill, Flyweight bout
- Marvin Vettori vs Roman Dolidze, Middleweight bout
UFC 286 Picks and Predictions: Edwards vs Usman 3
Defending UFC Welterweight champ Leon Edwards faces Nigerian challenger Kamaru Usman, for a third time.
Edwards vs Usman 1: UFC on FOX – 19 December, 2015
The two fighters first met way back in 2015, in what was Usman’s UFC debut. He took that fight by unanimous decision… but that was the last fight Leon Edwards lost.
Impressive Records – Leon Edwards
The defending champ’s current record is a highly impressive 20-3-0.
Coming into UFC 286, Edwards is undefeated in 11 fights – with one No Contest after an accidental eye poke ended his fight against Belal Muhammad.
Having not lost since then, UFC 286 is his first title defence.
Impressive Records – Kamaru Usman
Usman’s record stands at an even more impressive 20-2-0 – especially when you consider he had five successful titles defenses after taking the belt off Tyrone Woodley at UFC 235 in March 2019.
He saw off both Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal twice, with Gilbert Burns in between for good measure.
Edwards vs Usman 2: UFC 278 – 20 August, 2022
When Edwards finally got his shot at the title at UFC 278, he took it. In a hell of a Fight of the Night performance, Edwards claimed the Welterweight belt.
In Salt Lake City, Utah, at altitude, the fight almost went the distance. Both fighters, supremely fit, were still going at it late in the fifth when Edwards landed a “perfect” left high kick to end the fight.
On the card, watchers had Usman ahead on points.
Listening to Rogan and his fellow commentators, they’ve written Edwards off just moments before he lands the winning blow.
Edwards vs Usman 3: UFC 286 – 18 March, 2023
This is Edwards’ first defence of his title. And the consensus seems to be that he won the title despite being out-fought in their last match-up. As such, Usman is now favored to win back his title, and all the best online bookies seem to agree.
The odds on Usman to win are currently sitting around -250 (in American odds), 1.4 in decimal odds, and 2/5 in fractional odds. Wherever you’re from, and whatever your preference, The AllStar MMA Picks app allows you to chose whichever odds format you’re comfortable with.
The odds on Edwards to successfully defend his title are currently around the +200 mark (or 3 and 2/1 against).
Will the fight go the distance? It almost did when they last met. Both fighters should have enough gas to get there, or does one come out blazing at a pace that means they burn out faster than usual?
If it does, and the winner win by a decision – who dya favor?
Or does one out smart, ending the fight earlier? And if so, who – and when? The title fight is five rounds. Does someone land a winning blow before then?
So many questions… and not too little time left before we know the answers.
Lock in your UFC 286 picks and predictions on The AllStar MMA Picks app to add a little spice to your PPV viewing pleasure.
UFC 286 Picks – Winner: Kamaru Usman
What time is UFC 286 main card?
With UFC 286 happening in London, the main card gets underway at 9pm GMT (London time) – which is 5pm Eastern.
The main event cagewalks are due 12am GMT (midnight)/8 pm Eastern.
UFC 286 Picks and Predictions: Gaethje vs Fiziev
In the co-main event, former UFC Lightweight champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje faces on-a-roll Rafael “Ataman” Fiziev (12-1-0).
With a 23-4-0 record, Gaethje enters this fight looking to get back to winning ways off the back of a loss to another former champ, Charles Oliveira at UFC 274 in May 2022. Given that Oliveira is the number one contender in a weight class now dominated by Islam Makhachev (23-1-0), that’s no small feat.
Gaethje has a solid wrestling pedigree, excelling in the sport at the collegiate level, but he prefers to stay standing and strike.
Which should be great for UFC fans as Fiziev takes a similar approach.
And the Azerbaijani’s confidence will be running high – deservedly so – as he enters the O2 on a six-fight win streak. Victory here will undoubtedly put him one step closer to a shot at the title.
That’s a true, just, striking battle, right? … If I had to [choose] – right now, gun to my head, I’d be putting money on Fiziev for that fight.Dan Hooker hypothesizes on match-ups in his weight class with The AllStar back in July 2022.
Eight months later, and it seems the best online bookies are in agreement.
Gaethje enters as the underdog, with odds around +190, while Fiziev is currently favored at around -240.
UFC 286 Picks – Winner: Rafael Fiziev
Method: TKO / KO
UFC 286 Picks and Predictions – Rest of Main Card
Gunnar Nelson vs Bryan Barberena, Welterweight bout
Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson (18-5-1) is an Icelandic grappler, while his opponent, American Bryan “Bam Bam” Barberena has struggled against grapplers in the past.
Sure enough, his last fight was a loss, by submission, to Rafael dos Anjos late last year.
As such, the odds are stacked heavily in Nelson’s favor and this doesn’t look like a match-up where a surprise upset is likely.
|Gunnar Nelson||-370 (up to -415)|
|Bryan Barberena||+290 (up to +310)|
Picks: Nelson, Submission, Round 2
Jennifer Maia vs Casey O’Neill, Flyweight bout
“King” Casey O’Neill heads to London from her native Scotland, unbeaten with a 9-0 record. The 25-year-old faces a far more experienced fighter in the 34-year-old Brazilian Jennifer Maia (20-9-1).
The bookies are backing youth on this one, though the margin isn’t huge. O’Neill is a a
No one wins forever, so might this be one of the upsets on the night? Possibly, but we’re going to pump for O’Neill.
Picks: O’Neill, Decision, Round 3
Marvin Vettori vs Roman Dolidze, Middleweight bout
Marvin “The Italian Dream” Vettori fought – and won – at Light Heavyweight, but lost his last fight to Robert Whittaker after dropping back down to Middleweight.
Georgian fighter Roman Dolidze comes into the fight as an underdog, but boasts 7 KOs in his 12-1-0 record. He’s also two inches taller than Vettori, with an extra 2 inch reach for good measure.
Vettori’s favored at around -280, with Dolidze at +230, but this could be one the bookies have wrong.