All You Need to Know About UFC 286: Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman III Headlines Main Card
- Leon Edwards will defend his welterweight title against Kamaru Usman at UFC 286
- Justin Gaethje will face Rafael Fiziev in a battle of top lightweight contenders
- Casey O'Neill will look to preserve her unbeaten MMA record against Jennifer Maia
We are just a few days away from UFC 286, and excitement is building for one of the year's biggest fights.
Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman will lock horns for the third time this coming Saturday at the O2 Arena in London for the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Here’s all you need to know about Edwards vs. Usman III and the other fights on the main card for UFC 286.
Trilogy fight for Edwards, Usman
The much-anticipated welterweight title showdown between reigning champ, Leon Edwards and challenger, Kamaru Usman - a decorated former champion in the division - will headline the card.
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They will head into their third fight with the score tied at one apiece.
Usman won their first fight in 2015 via unanimous decision. Edwards shockingly evened the score last August, recording one of the biggest upsets of 2022 with a head-kick knockout in the final round.
Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev
Justin Gaethje grabbed the headlines recently when he declared himself 'the most exciting fighter of all time'. The No. 3 lightweight contender has received a performance bonus from the UFC in eight of his ten fights.
'The Highlight' looks to earn another bonus this coming Saturday when he squares off with the surging Rafael Fiziev. Fiziev has won his last six fights to become the No. 6 contender in the lightweight division, per CBS Sports.
Fiziev impressed in his last fight, defeating former lightweight champ, Rafael dos Anjos in stunning fashion. Expect fireworks in this clash between Gaethje and Fiziev.
Gunnar Nelson vs. Bryan Barberena
Nelson was supposed to fight Daniel Rodriguez at UFC 286, but the latter had to withdraw because of an injury. Replacing Rodriguez as Nelson’s opponent is Bryan Barberena who is coming off a defeat to Rafael Dos Anjos last December.
Nelson will be a tough matchup for Barbarena, who has struggled against grappling in his career. Gunnar is a jiu-jitsu maestro, which spells trouble for Barbarena, who has been finished in three of his last four defeats.
Jennifer Maia vs. Casey O’Neill
The UFC women’s flyweight division was shaken when Alexa Grasso dethroned Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 285. Jennifer Maia believes she is now close to a title shot with Shevchenko no longer the queen of the division.
She has to rack up wins for that to happen. Maia will be looking to win her second straight fight this coming Saturday against Casey O’Neill. It won’t be easy though, as O’Neill is a top-tier striker.
Maia’s defeats have come against such opponents, making O’Neill the favorite in this fight. The Scottish-born Australian is 9-0 in her MMA career, including 4-0 in UFC fights.
Marvin Vettori vs. Roman Dolidze
Roman Dolidze has a fantastic opportunity to climb up the middleweight rankings as he will face former title challenger, Marvin Vettori at UFC 286. The Georgian has been on fire lately, winning his last four fights.
He has finished his last three opponents, including Jack Hermannson. However, Vettori will provide Dolidze his toughest test yet in the UFC.
'The Italian Dream' said this fight is personal for him as Dolidze was once his training partner. Vettori is 18-5-1 in his MMA career, including 8-4-1 in the UFC. Dolidze, on the other hand, has lost just once in 13 MMA fights.
Shevchenko suffers shock defeat
Sports Brief recently reported on Shevchenko’s loss at UFC 285 via submission.
An error doomed the long-time flyweight champion as she lost to Alexa Grasso.
Shevchenko whiffed on a spinning back kick, allowing Grasso to apply a choke.
Source: Sports Brief News