Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman 3 UFC 286 Fight Prediction & Picks: Expect a Lengthy Battle in London
UFC 286 is just days away as some of the world’s best MMA fighters are set to take over the O2 Arena in London, England on Saturday, March 18. There’s something for everyone on the jam-packed card, however, the majority of combat sports enthusiasts are looking toward the massive welterweight championship main event between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman.
Edwards and Usman are far from being strangers. The dynamic duo has already collided twice in the octagon, resulting in a victory for each man. Edwards managed to steal the UFC Welterweight Championship from Usman in their last meeting, leaving time to tell if history repeats itself or if the “Nigerian Nightmare” will get his revenge.
As with all massive pay-per-view main events, Edwards vs Usman 3 brings some interesting betting options to the table. Here’s a look at the latest odds for the UFC 286 main event from a handful of reputable sportsbooks, as well as a prediction and the best bet(s) for the fight.
Edwards vs Usman 3 — Tale of the Tape
Leon Edwards (c) — Kamaru Usman
- Record: 20-3 (1NC) — 20-2
- Height: 6’2” — 6’0”
- Reach: 74” — 76”
- Weight: 170lbs — 170lbs
- Age: 31 — 35
- Fighting Stance: Southpaw — Switch
- Knockouts: 7 — 9
UFC 286: Edwards vs Usman 3 Fight Odds (as of Wednesday, March 15)
Odds are via our top reviewed and recommended sportsbooks.
- Leon Edwards +196
- Kamaru Usman -260
- Leon Edwards +210
- Kamaru Usman -260
- Leon Edwards +195
- Kamaru Usman -250
- Leon Edwards +200
- Kamaru Usman -250
Usman Enters UFC 286 as Unanimous Favorite
Although anything can happen in the MMA world, all four highlighted sportsbook project Usman to regain the welterweight championship at UFC 286. He’s available at an average of -255 odds, carrying an implied win probability of 71.8%.
It’s important to remember that Usman had won 19 straight fights before getting knocked out by Edwards at UFC 278. He was as dominant as they come and proved that with five successful welterweight championship defenses.
Sure, he came up short in his last outing, but Usman actually out-struck Edwards 83-55 in their last clash. Furthermore, he scored five takedowns to his opponent’s one. There’s no denying how impressive Edwards’ victory was, but the fact remains that Usman was on his way to victory before that fatal head kick.
Being the underdog isn’t new territory for Edwards, though. After all, he was the +265 underdog at UFC 278 and only sat at +500 to win by knockout. Despite what the odds said, “Rocky” proved his doubters wrong once again.
Now, Edwards seeks to make his first successful title defense in front of a rocky O2 Arena crowd. Although he was born in Jamaica, Edwards’ family moved to England when he was nine years old, making this a homecoming for the welterweight champion.
The 31-year-old southpaw has found success on home soil before, going 12-1 in his previous 13 fights in England. That includes a 3-0 record at the O2 Arena.
Edwards also has the advantage of Usman having not fought since their last encounter, meaning the latter hasn’t had a chance to get any momentum back. If Usman feels unsure of himself after his first-ever knockout loss, Edwards must pounce on any hint of vulnerability.
UFC 286 Betting Markets & Trends for Edwards vs Usman 3
Unless you’re backing Edwards to retain, there isn’t a ton of value when it comes to betting on the moneyline. Fortunately, FanDuel Sportsbook has more markets worth keeping an eye on.
For starters, the likeliest method of victory is Usman winning by decision at +115 odds. After all, 10 of his last 15 fights have gone the distance while his impressive cardio helped him win each one of them.
As for Edwards, his top victory method is also to win by points, albeit at +460 odds. All but four of the defending champion’s last 13 fights have reached the time limit. And while Edwards has also won 10 times by decision in his MMA career, he’s also lost twice in that regard — including once to Usman.
Taking the above into account, it’s unsurprising that FanDuel is also favoring the fight to go the distance at -156 odds.
Though most signs point to another lengthy battle, some bettors might be thinking the opposite. If you’re one of them, FanDuel’s method & round combo markets could scratch that itch.
In this market, Usman is favored to win by first-round KO/TKO at +1200. Of his nine career knockouts, three have come in Round 1. Meanwhile, Edwards’ best option is winning by KO/TKO in the first frame as well (+1600) — something he’s also done thrice in his career.
Edwards vs Usman 3 UFC 286 Fight Prediction
Even though Edwards is the champion and shocked the world last time, I’m siding with Usman becoming the two-time UFC Welterweight Champion. He’s still one of the best ever to step foot in a cage and won’t accept a second straight defeat. He already showed he could dominate Edwards for a big chunk of their last fight, so taking home the gold in enemy territory isn’t out of the question.
Having said that, I do recommend taking Usman winning by points at +115 odds on FanDuel as the best bet. Both fighters have strong cardio and go the distance more often than not. Considering how they reached the time limit in their first fight and were 56 seconds away from doing it against last August, I expect the same at UFC 286.
If you’re unsure of who you think will win, betting that the fight will go the distance at -156 odds is another solid option.
Looking for More UFC Picks?
We have predictions and picks for multiple fights on the UFC 286 main card, as well as the UFC 286 prelims and early prelims.
But if you are interested in checking out UFC and MMA picks from other sources, there are a number of reputable sports handicapping services that we recommend.
Find trusted services with free offers and guaranteed picks!
One of those sources is Doc’s Sports, which has a great offer going right now.
Doc’s Sports offers a lot of free picks and content, but they also offer $60 worth of premium sports picks free for new premium signups.
UFC 286 Event Details
When is UFC 286?
UFC 286 will take place on Saturday, March 18, 2023.
Where is UFC 286?
UFC 286 will take place at the O2 Arena in London, England.
What time does UFC 286 start?
- UFC 286 Early Prelims Start Time: 1 p.m. ET
- UFC 286 Prelims Start Time: 3 p.m. ET
- Start Time of UFC 286’s Main Card: 5 p.m. ET
How can I watch UFC 286?
The early prelims will be available on UFC Fight Pass, while the prelims will be available on both ESPN2 and ESPN+, and the main card will be available via pay-per-view (which can be ordered through the ESPN+ app).