The Welterweight Title Trilogy bout between Leon Edwards and former champion Kamaru Usman heads up a big UFC 286 card on March 18.
The five-round welterweight championship battle caps off a 13-fight card that also includes a compelling lightweight encounter between veteran Justin Gaethje and red-hot Rafael Fiziev.
Our UFC 286 betting guide will highlight the top fights of the day with betting odds, fighters’ backgrounds, and expert picks.
Betting On UFC 286
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UFC 286 Fights Date & Location
UFC 286 comes off Saturday, March 18, from London’s O2 Arena.
The early preliminaries begin at 1 p.m. eastern, with prelims at 3 p.m. and the main title fight expected to start around 10.
Most ESPN+ subscribers will get the whole card, with the main events available via pay-per-view.
Betting On UFC 286 Main Event: Edwards vs. Usman 2
|Bet at||Leon Edwards||Kamaru Usman|
Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman Fight Preview
Edwards is defending his title, but Usman is the consensus favorite in the big match because of how their previous fight went in August last year.
With Usman on the throne and leading the scoring late in the fifth round, Edwards came with a hard left foot to the head, sending Usman to the canvas for a knockout. Usman triumphed by a unanimous decision in the first Usman vs. Edwards fight in 2015.
Usman’s odds have been hovering around -250 since the match hit the board. Bettors can get Edwards in the underdog role at around +200.
With Usman holding the revenge motivation from the stunner in Salt Lake City last year, it will be interesting to see if Edwards has the advantage of home turf at the 20,000-seat O2 Arena just miles from his home in Birmingham.
|Leon Edwards||Vs.||Kamaru Usman|
|20-3-0 (7 KOs)||Record||20-2-0 (9 KOs)|
|171 lb||Weight||171 lb|
Analyzing Leon Edwards
Since a decision loss in his UFC debut in 2014, Edwards has come on to be a formidable foe. He was tripped up by Usman late in 2015 before going on an eight-match winning streak that included wins over Rafael dos Anjos and Gunnar Nelson.
He had a setback during COVID when a couple of matches were scratched, but a unanimous decision over Nate Diaz in June of 2021 got him the chance at Usman and the welterweight crown.
A Brazilian JuJitsu specialist, Edwards is a skilled battler with solid grappling attributes and a great jab in standup. He is also known for his clinch performance and defensive skills.
He surprised Usman with the stunning head kick because he rarely uses it.
Analyzing Kamaru Usman
“The Nigerian Nightmare” was unbeaten in 15 UFC fights before running into Edwards. He started his career by dominating opponents and beating Tyron Woodley to gain the welterweight crown in 2019.
He then defended the title five times, including two triumphs each over Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal. His first fight with Edwards in 2015 was scored a unanimous decision.
His experience has helped make him a cagey competitor with a keen ability to take advantage of openings for his powerful right cross. He sets it up with fast kicks and a solid jab. But age has cut back Usman’s grappling skills, though he is still super in the clinch.
Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman Prediction – Who would win?
Usman certainly has the revenge motivation here and is considered by most to be the superior fighter. After all, he led the scoring for most of the last fight with Edwards.
That’s why -250 seems fair. But, interestingly, Edwards considers the fight to be one of his worst performances, so we wonder about his true potential. And we expect the O2 Arena to be full of Edwards fans being so close to his training home.
Right now, we like Usman to regain his title at -250. But if the line changes in his favor, we’d be happy to give Edwards another upset shot at +220 or better.
Betting On UFC 286: Gaethje vs. Fiziev
|Bet at||Rafael Fiziev||Justin Gaethje|
Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev Fight Preview
This could be a breakthrough match for Fiziev as he faces the more experienced but struggling Gaethje. Fiziev rides a six-fight winning streak to favoritism at -190.
Gaethje, coming off a title bout loss to Charles Oliveira, hopes to get back into form after losing two of his last five battles. He has the underdog role at +150.
The Fiziev vs. Gaethje match looks to be even otherwise, with Gaethje having a striking edge, connecting 7.46 times a minute to Fiziev’s 4.81. Fiziev is better on the mat, averaging 0.36 takedown per 15 minutes to 00 for Gaethje. Gaethje sits at No. 3 in the UFC rankings, while Fiziev is No. 6.
|Rafael Fiziev||Vs.||Justin Gaethje|
|155 lb||Weight||155 lb|
Analyzing Justin Gaethje
Gaethje has been through slumps before. In 2017 and ’18, he lost straight matches to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier but bounced back with four consecutive victories after that.
And his most recent losses were to two of the top lightweight fighters of all time in Oliveira and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Gaethje is best at clinch striking, but his standard striking style is also aggressive to the point of leaving him vulnerable to punches.
Analyzing Rafael Fiziev
Fiziev drew a lot of attention with his KO of former champion Rafael dos Anjos in the final round of his fight in July.
It was his only battle to go five rounds primarily because of a knack for finishing fights early. That knack got him into UFC competition in 2019.
He was stopped by Magomed Mustavaev in his first UFC encounter but has since come on strong.
Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev Prediction – Who would win?
Gaethje is the more experienced fighter and has already held a title before. But he submitted early against Oliveira, and his endurance against a younger fighter might be in question.
Because he shows no sign of slowing down, we like Fiziev at -190 but would not turn down Gaethje if his line moves to +220 or better.
Other UFC 286 Main Card Fights
Here’s a brief rundown of three fights toward the top of the UFC 286 billing:
Gunnar Nelson (18-5-1) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (17-3) Welterweight
Nelson comes off of a victory over Takashi Soto last March, while Rodriguez had a four-straight winning streak snapped in November when he submitted to Neil Magny.
Marvin Vettori (18-6-1) vs Roman Dolidze (12-1-0) Middleweight
Rated No. 4 in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings, Vettori had a setback in September, losing a decision to Robert Whittaker. Dolidze looks to continue a string of three wins, his latest over Jack Hermansson in Orlando.
Marvin Vettori (18-6-1) vs Roman Dolidze (12-1-0) Middleweight
Shore moves from bantamweight to featherweight in this skirmish with Amirkhani. Shore won his first 16 before being submitted by Ricky Simon last July. The veteran Amirkhani seeks to emerge from a slump that has seen him lose four of his last five.
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Which Bets Can You Place at UFC 286?
Top sportsbooks will offer a variety of bet options for UFC 286 fights. Look for these choices:
With the moneyline bet, you can choose the winner.
The minus (-) figure indicates favoritism, and you will pay for it by getting a smaller return. If you like the underdog, look for the plus (+) figure and a bigger return if you win.
MMA Prop bets allow you to wager on specific outcomes other than the winner.
With UFC 286, you may have the option of betting on whether the winner will be determined by knockout or on how many rounds the fight will last.
If you like predicting how long a fight will last, you may want to try UFC over/under bets.
If the fight is scheduled for five rounds and you think the winner will score an earlier KO, look for the round total and bet under the designated total, over if you think it will go the distance.
Tips to Bet on UFC 286 Events
Betting Tip #1Know The Territory
If you follow mixed martial arts and the UFC, you’re on top of the game. If you haven’t, we have provided a good start with our guide.
But there are plenty of resources, such as our official UFC Betting Guide, to help you with any angle you might seek. Use them.
Betting Tip #2View Previous Fights
The best way to know a fighter’s track record is to look at past bouts. The internet is full of videos of competitors’ past outings. You’ll gain insight by spending extra time looking at past performances.
Betting Tip #3Look for a Bargain
Come up with what you think would be fair odds on a bout or competitor. Then compare them with the odds listed at your favorite sportsbook.
That way, you will find a good price. And be patient; the odds may change leading up to the matches, and you may find a better price.
Betting Tip #4Diversify Your Bets
If you are uncertain about the winner, you can hedge with different bets. Try covering your bet on the overall outcome of the match with other wagers on props. Or make bets on other fights on the undercard.
UFC 286: Rivalry, Revenge, and More
UFC 286 promises to be a great day and night of MMA fighting with rivalry, revenge, survival, and prospects for the future all on the line.
Does Usman have the stuff to exact revenge on Edwards? Can Gaethje stop the momentum of the upstart Fiziev? And who is the next contender around the bend?
All of those issues add up to a betting card that should be wide open and full of opportunity. Head over to our best sportsbooks and become a part of the big event with wagers on your favorite fighters.
UFC 286 Betting FAQ
What is UFC 286?
UFC 286 is a lineup of more than a dozen MMA fights on March 18 in London featuring the UFC Welterweight title bout between defending champ Leon Edwards and former titleholder Kamaru Usman.
Can you bet on UFC 286?
You can bet on UFC 286 at our recommended sportsbooks. You will find odds on Edwards vs. Usman and most of the fights on the entire card.
How to watch UFC 286?
To watch UFC 286, tune into ESPN+, ESPN News, or ESPN Deportes for 3 p.m. preliminaries. The main card is exclusive to streamers of ESPN+ and pay-per-view subscribers beginning at 5 p.m.
Who is favored in the Edwards vs. Usman match?
Usmam is favored to win with odds of -250 to +200 for Edwards.