Updated:Mar 18, 2023 6:19 pm
Tonight, Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards meet in a highly anticipated grudge match for the welterweight championship, in the main event of UFC 286 in London.
The previous fight saw the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ dominate Edwards for a majority of the fight before the Englishman caught Usman with a knockout to steal a win in the fifth round.
Usman throughout both fights between these two has been the better fighter, winning almost every moment of every round besides ‘Rocky’s’ head-kick.Embed from Getty Images
The events co-main event, will see former title contender Justin Gaethje attempt to regain his elite status as he takes on rising Azerbaijani Rafael Fiziev in a lightweight bout.
The co-main will no doubt be a FOTN contender, between two heavy-hitting, all-action fighters with the ability to end the fight anytime.Embed from Getty Images
The undercard also has some potentially exciting battles, as Submission expert, Gunnar Nelson returns to the octagon against brawl-lover Bryan Barberena.
An important middleweight bout opens the main card as former title challenger Marvin Vettori looks to halt the rise of Roman Dolidze.
Edwards vs Usman – Many have perceived Edwards’ championship win as lucky. This includes the former champion himself Usman who said he believed the loss had more to do with his own lapse in concentration than the skill of Edwards. Therefore expect Usman to leave no doubts that he is the better fighter here with a stoppage.
Gaethje vs Fiziev – Fiziev is a dangerous man on his feet, decorated in Muay Thai and has scored knockdowns in eight of his 12 MMA fights. Gaethje seems to have started to decline given the damage he has accrued over his career, and while he will probably make it a scrappy fight, Fiziev should be able to pick ‘The Highlight’ off with clinical strikes, to put himself in title contender conversations.
Nelson vs Barberena – Make no mistake, Barberena is a very dangerous slug-fest style fighter, however the gulf in quality when it comes to grappling should provide Nelson with an avenue to victory which he should take. Coupled with the fact Barberena lost his last fight via submission too.
Lastly, O’Neill to beat Maia and Vettori to beat Dolidze.