UFC 286 Predictions: Edwards vs. Usman 3

The UFC is back with its second Pay-Per-View card, bringing a loaded fifteen-fight card to the O2 Arena in London, England.

The Welterweight title is on the line in the main event as Leon Edwards looks to cement his title reign in a trilogy grudge match with Kamaru Usman. It’s a striker’s delight in the co-main as Muay Thai technician Rafael Fiziev is set to clash with the brawling Justin Gaethje.

Main Card (PPV)

Leon Edwards (20-3) vs. Kamaru Usman 3 (20-2) (WW)

The rubber match is here! Kamaru Usman looked poised to secure another title defense, up 3-1 on the scorecards, before Leon Edwards cracked him with the highlight of the year headkick to win gold. I expect a different stylistic fight in this one, as Usman will likely throw less volume on the feet, looking to maintain composure and defense in between grappling exchanges. While Edwards was incredibly accurate and eventually found vcitory in the last one based off his striking skill, his output was significantly diminished by the sheer work rate of Usman, constantly threatening the takedown entry. I think Edwards will have more clear control of the striking in this bout with lower output from Usman, though the Nigerian will certianly keep the fight close with his oppressive clinch and top game. Unless Edwards can consistently deny the takedown, Usman will find top control and make this fight close. I see this as a razor close battle that could go either way on the judges’ scorecards with Edwards exercising superior damage to get the nod in his home country.

My Pick: Leon Edwards via Decision

Justin Gaethje (23-4) vs. Rafael Fiziev (12-1) (LW)

Our co-main features a truly high level striker’s delight between two very different striking styles. Justin Gaethje looks for a brawl as soons as the round starts, firing off constant low kicks between haymakers designed to put you out cold. Fiziev is a Muay Thai specialist with a truly fantastic set of skills, firing off no shortage of eye-catching offensive (or even defensive) tactics. While both are credentialed grapplers, I would be surprised to see either take this fight to the mat. I expect this to be a close but wild striking exchange unless someone finds the kill shot, as Gaethje’s legendary chin has shown lapses in recent outings and Fiziev has also been checked quite a few times during his rise in the ranks. I like Fiziev to win a technical showcase on the judges’ scorecards, though I would not be confident taking a large shot on Fiziev as a favorite.

My Pick: Rafael Fiziev via Decision

Jennifer Maia (20-9-1) vs. Casey O’Neill (9-0) (FLW)

My Pick: Casey O’Neill via Decision

Gunnar Nelson (18-5-1) vs. Bryan Barbarena (18-9) (WW)

My Pick: Gunnar Nelson via Submission

Marvin Vettori (18-5-1) vs. Roman Dolidze (12-1) (MW)

My Pick: Marvin Vettori via Decision


Lerone Murphy (11-0-1) vs. Gabriel Santos (10-0) (FTW)

My Pick: Lerone Murphy via Knockout

Chris Duncan (9-1) vs. Omar Morales (11-3) (LW)

My Pick: Omar Morales via Decision

Jack Shore (16-1) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (17-8) (FTW)

My Pick: Jack Shore via Submission

Sam Patterson (10-1-1) vs. Yanal Ashmoz (6-0) (LW)

My Pick: Sam Patterson via Submission

Muhammad Mokaev (8-0) vs. Jafel Filho (14-2) (FLW)

My Pick: Muhammad Mokaev via Decision

Christian Leroy Duncan (7-0) vs. Dusko Todorovic (12-3) (MW)

My Pick: Christian Leroy Duncan via Knockout

Jake Hadley (9-1) vs. Malcolm Gordon (14-6) (FLW)

My Pick: Jake Hadley via Decision

Joanne Wood (15-8) vs. Luana Carolina (8-3) (FLW)

My Pick: Luana Carolina via Decision

Jai Herbert (12-4) vs. L’udovit Klein (19-4) (LW)

My Pick: L’udovit Klein via Decision

Veronica Hardy (6-4-1) vs. Juliana Miller (3-1) (FLW)

My Pick: Juliana Miller via Submission

The card kicks off at 5 PM EST with the main card live on Pay-Per-View at 10 PM!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s