UFC 286 live results: Highlights, updates, analysis for entire fight card, including Leon Edwards-Kamaru Usman

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: (LR) Contenders Leon Edwards of Jamaica and Kamaru Usman of Nigeria face off during the UFC 286 weigh-in at the O2 Arena on March 17, 2023 in London, England.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman 1-1 against each other. They’re set to do it again on Saturday, setting the score in the UFC 286 main event rubber match. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Much of the speculation about the UFC 286 main event between champion Leon Edwards and former champion Kamaru Usman taking place on Saturday (5 pm ET, ESPN+ PPV) at the O2 Arena in London has to do with Usman’s mental state.

He was knocked out by a perfectly prepared and executed head kick by Edwards at UFC 278 on August 20 in Salt Lake City. This defeat ended Usman’s 19-fight winning streak that spanned nine years, costing him not only the welterweight championship, but also recognition as the best fighter in the world, regardless of weight class.

They’re going to do it again on Saturday with a rubber match. Usman won the first bout between the two in 2015, but Edwards won the bigger win when he knocked out Usman at UFC 278.

Usman is BetMGM’s -250 favorite. Despite Edwards being the welterweight champion, Edwards enters the trilogy as a +200 underdog. The odds are not as great as in the last meeting, where Edwards closed the score just under 3 to 1, but it is clear that the players are bearish about the possibility of a champion re-emergence.

Justin Gaethje, who this week called himself the most exciting fighter in UFC history, and Rafael Fiziev, one of the sport’s elite strikers, will battle it out in a lightweight title showdown in the co-main event.

The main card also features a welterweight clash between Gunnar Nelson and Brian Barberena, as well as a flyweight bout with former title challenger Jennifer Maya and rising prospect Casey O’Neal. Marvin Vettori vs. Roman Dolidze will clash for the top middleweight title to kick off the pay-per-view broadcast.

UFC 286 Election Predictions

Kevin Wrath: Edwards is a world-class striker and should never be discounted, but Usman has the tools to defuse the situation and secure a win. I bet -250 and bet on Usman to win.

Mark Drumheller: In terms of probabilities, it’s far more likely that Usman will pull up defensively and return to his bread and butter. This isn’t to say that Edwards isn’t a worthy champion or that his knockout should be remembered as a modern-day Matt Serra and Georges St-Pierre moment, but it’s hard for me to see him finish Usman again or win enough minutes to take home a decision. St. Pierre was a much more methodical fighter after losing the title and used his wrestling to limit his damage. I expect Usman to use a similar strategy to reclaim the title with a win on Saturday.

UFC 286 online tracker

UFC 286 Early Qualifiers Odds (start time 5:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

  • Welterweight: Leon Edwards (+200) vs. Kamaru Usman (-250)

  • Lightweight: Justin Gaethje (+200) vs. Rafael Fiziev (-240)

  • Welterweight: Gunnar Nelson (-375) vs. Brian Barberena (+295)

  • Women’s Flyweight: Jennifer Maya (+155) vs. Casey O’Neal (-185)

  • Middleweight: Marvin Vettori (-275) vs. Roman Dolidze (+225)

UFC 286 Preliminaries Odds (Live on ESPNews/ESPN+)

  • Featherweight: Jack Shore (-550) vs Makwan Amirkhan (+400)

  • Lightweight: Chris Duncan def. Omar Morales via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Lightweight: Yanal Ashmoz def. Sam Patterson KO (punches) at 1:15 of the first round:

  • Flyweight: Muhammad Mokaev def. Jafel Filho by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:32 of the third round:

Reviews of the first UFC 286 prelims, results

  • Featherweight: Leron Murphy def. Gabriel Santos by split decision (29,-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Middleweight: Christian Leroy Duncan, def. Dusko Todorovic by TKO (injury) at 2:52 R1

  • Flyweight: Jake Hadley def. Malcolm Gordon by TKO (body shot) at 1:01 R1:

  • Women’s Flyweight: Joanne Wood def. Luana Carolina by split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)

  • Lightweight: Jai Herbert vs. Ludovit Klein ended in a draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)

  • Women’s Flyweight: Veronica Hardy def. Juliana Miller by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)


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