Previews, updates, analysis for the full fight card, between Leon Edwards-Kamaru Usman

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: (LR) Opponents Leon Edwards of Jamaica and Kamaru Usman of Nigeria face off in the UFC 286 ceremonial 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 are 1-1. They’re going to do it again on Saturday, scoring in a knockout match in the main event of UFC 286. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

A lot of speculation the main event of UFC 286 between champion Leon Edwards and former champion Kamaru Usman on Saturday (5 p.m. ET, ESPN+PPV) at the O2 Arena in London about Usmani’s state of mind.

By knocking through a perfectly executed and executed head kick by Edwards at UFC 278 on Aug. 20 in Salt Lake City. This loss ended Usman’s 19-fight winning streak that spanned over nine years, and cost him not only the welterweight championship, but pound-for-pound recognition as the best fighter in the world.

They will do it again on Saturday, scoring in a friendly match. Usman won the first meeting between them in 2015, but Edwards scored a more significant victory when he knocked out Usman at UFC 278.

Usman is a -250 favorite at BetMGM. Despite being the defending welterweight, Edwards enters the fight trilogy as a +200 underdog. The differences are not as wide as in the last meeting, where Edwards closes just below 3 to 1, but it’s bets are unsettled due to the probability of a repeated performance by the champion.

Justin Gaethje, who was referring to himself this week the most exciting fighter in UFC historyand Rafael Fiziev, one of the sport’s elite strikers, will fight him in a crucial lightweight match in the co-main event.

Also featured on the main card is a welterweight clash between Gunnar Nelson and Bryan Barberena and a flyweight clash with former title challenger Jennifer Maia versus eastern prospect Casey O’Neill. Marvin Vettori versus Roman Dolidze in a top-ranked middleweight bout to kick off the pay-per-view.

UFC 286 reads, predictions

Kevin Iole: Edwards is a world class striker and should never be discounted, but Usman has the tools to grind Edwards down and win. -250 and I will beat Usman.

Mark Drumheller: According to the odds, it seems much more likely that Usman will tighten up on defense and go back to his bread and butter here. This is not to say that Edwards is not a worthy champion or that his knockout record is like a modern day Matt Serra-Georges St-Pierre moment, but it is hard to see him finishing Usman again or winning enough minutes to take home. to decide St-Pierre was a much more methodical fighter, using his title losses and wrestling to damage his exposure. I expect Usman to use a similar strategy to reclaim his title by winning attrition on Saturday.

UFC 286 live tracker

UFC 286 preview, odds (Start time 5 pm ET, ESPN+)

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

  • Lightweight: Justin Gaethje (+200) vs.

  • Welterweight: Gunnar Nelson (-375) vs.

  • Women’s flyweight: Jennifer Maia (+155) vs.

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

UFC 286 prelims, odds (Start time 3 pm ET, ESPNews/ESPN+)

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

  • Lightweight: Chris Duncan (-115) vs.

  • Lightweight: Sam Patterson (-275) vs.

  • Flyweight: Muhammad Mokaev (-800) vs.

UFC 286 morning prelims, odds (Live now on ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass)

  • Featherweight: Lerone Murphy (-185) vs.

  • Middleweight: Christian Leroy Duncan (-225) vs. Dusko Todorovic (+185)

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

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

  • Light: Jai Herbert vs. Klein’s game ends in most points (29-27, 28-28, 28-28).

  • Fusarium women: Veronica Hardy def. Juliana Miller by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

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