- What: UFC 286 PPV card
- Date: Saturday, March 18, 2023
- Location: O2 Arena in London, England
- Time: Early Prelims (1 p.m. ET), Prelims (3 p.m. ET), Main Card (5 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: Early Prelims (ESPN+) Prelims (ESPN). Main Card (ESPN + pay-per-view)
The UFC is in London, England for the UFC 286 pay-per-view card on ESPN+. In the headlining bout of the event, which is scheduled for a much earlier start than usual because of the location, Leon Edwards defends his UFC welterweight title against the man he knocked out to claim that belt, Kamaru Usman. Here is some background on Edwards and Usman before we discuss the UFC 286 betting breakdown.
UFC 286 marks the third meeting between these two. In their first matchup, which took place on the early prelims of the UFC on FOX 17 card in December 2015, Usman defeated Edwards by decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28). By the time the two rematched, Usman had won and defended the UFC welterweight title five times.
Usman was ahead on all the scorecards during that UFC 278 scrap in August 2022 and looked to be on his way to another successful title defense when Edwards landed a perfectly timed and executed head kick. The strike knocked out Usman at the 4:04 mark of the fifth round and gave Edwards the title. Edwards has not lost since Usman defeated him in 2015. Meanwhile, Usman was undefeated in the UFC before Edwards stopped him.
Before we look at the best bets for the UFC 286 welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.
Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman 3 picks
|To Win UFC 286 Main Event
Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards 3 breakdown and analysis
Things were not going well for Leon Edwards at UFC 278. The scorecards had him winning the first round, but the other three rounds had all gone to Usman. His significant strikes in the third and fourth rounds totaled 13 and he had spent more than half of those rounds under the control of the defending champion. Additionally, the UFC commentators said that Edwards looked like a broken fighter who had resolved himself to accepting a loss.
Then, with less than a minute left in the round, Edwards delivered a perfectly timed and placed head kick that knocked out Usman. It was unbelievable, almost as if the scene had been scripted for a movie.
There’s no doubt that Edwards is a great fighter, but he’s not someone who excels at any one thing and that hurt him during the rounds he lost to Usman at UFC 278. Unfortunately, it’s going to hurt him again at UFC 286, where I see Usman, who is a much better wrestler than Edwards, focusing on staying out of danger and using his wrestling, he went five for 12 takedowns at UFC 278 and had more than 10 minutes of control time, to regain the UFC welterweight crown.
Who has the edge
Had Usman taken a safety-first approach to the final minute of his UFC 278 fight against Edwards, there’s an excellent chance he would have held onto the title. With that, I expect Usman will test his striking against Edwards early, but then quickly move to a wrestling-heavy style where he has a distinct advantage over his opponent. That approach might not make him popular with the fans at UFC 286, but it gives him a better-than-average chance to win the UFC welterweight title back.
Best UFC 286 bets
The odds in this fight are heavily in favor of the former UFC champion and that makes sense considering he was less than a minute away from retaining his title at UFC 278. When it comes to UFC 286 betting, the best pick for UFC 286 is to bet Usman to win. If you’re looking for a value bet for the card, the best UFC 286 picks are for the fight to go past 2.5 rounds and picking Usman to win by decision.
Pick: Kamaru Usman to beat Leon Edwards by decision at UFC 286.
See below a list of reliable sportsbooks and choose the best one for you.