UFC 286: Edwards vs. Usman — live results and analysis

Kamaru Usman was on his way to a sixth title defense and a record 16th straight win in the UFC last summer. He was the undisputed best fighter of any weight class on the planet and about one minute away from another award that would have put him into the discussion about the greatest fighters of all time.

And then Leon Edwards hit Usman in the head with a left hand. Less than 60 seconds into the confident defeat, Edwards pulled out a Hail Mary to finish as the dominant champion at UFC 278. It was a stunning comeback, the best knockout of 2022, and earned Edwards the UFC welterweight title. Usman had already beaten Edwards once seven years earlier. But now that the stakes were at their highest, Edwards equalized.

Edwards and Usman will meet for the third time on Saturday in the main event of UFC 286 in London. At stake will be Edwards’ welterweight title, which Usman has held for over three years. Sportzshala ranked Usman 4th and Edwards 7th in MMA rankings regardless of the pound.

Edwards (20-3, 1 NC) has been undefeated in 11 consecutive fights. He hasn’t lost since Usman defeated him via unanimous decision in 2015. The 31-year-old Edwards is the Jamaican native’s first UFC champion, with victories over Rafael dos Anjos, Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone and Vicente Luca.

Usman (20-2) was last defeated before his fight with Edwards in 2013, his second professional fight in his career. The Nigerian-born fighter, who trains in Colorado, has won two each over Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal during his title. Usman, 35, defeated Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision at UFC 235 in March 2019.

In the co-main event on Saturday, former interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje will take on the promising Rafael Fiziev. Gaethje (23-4), a 34-year-old Arizona native, has won five of his last seven fights, with two losses coming in the UFC lightweight belt. Fiziev (12-1), a 30-year-old Kazakh fighter from Florida, has won six UFC fights in a row.

Also on the card, Gunnar Nelson will face Brian Barberena in the welterweight division.

Watch Brett Okamoto, Mark Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim recap all the action, or watch fights on Sportzshala+ PPV.


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