The UFC is back in London for a trilogy fight between London’s own Leon Edwards and former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. Plus, what should surely be an exciting matchup in the lightweight division between Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev in the co-main event.
UFC 286 Results – Main Event
For the third time in their UFC careers, UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards and former champion Kamaru Usman will meet in the octagon. For the second time, the belt will be on the line. The first ever matchup between these two happened in 2015 at UFC on FOX 17. It was Edwards’ fourth UFC fight and technically Usman’s debut as it came after he won season twenty one of The Ultimate Fighter against Hayder Hassan five months prior. Usman won their first meeting as he would secure the win by unanimous decision. After that, Usman would go on to become the UFC welterweight champion just over three years later after defeating Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision at UFC 235 in 2019. Two weeks after Usman had become the UFC’s new welterweight champion, Edwards had won his seventh straight fight since losing to Usman. That win came against Gunnar Nelson by way of split decision at UFC Fight Night 147. Prior to that win, Edwards had fought in his first UFC main event where he won his sixth straight fight with a unanimous decision win over Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 132.
Four months after his win over Nelson, Edwards picked up his eighth win in a row when he defeated Rafael dos Anjos by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC on ESPN 4. Later that year, Usman had successfully defended the welterweight title for the first time with a TKO win over Colby Covington in round five at UFC 245.
Following his win over dos Anjos, Edwards was out of action for nearly two years as he struggled to maintain a scheduled opponent. During that time, Usman put together two successful title defenses with a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 and a third round TKO win over Gilbert Burns at UFC 258. Edwards returned a month after Usman had defeated Burns when he faced Belal Muhammad in the main event of UFC Vegas 21. Unfortunately that fight ended in a no contest as Muhammad was not able to continue after an accidental eye poke. That summer, Edwards improved his unbeaten streak to ten fights with a unanimous decision win over Nate Diaz at UFC 263. That win earned Edwards the rematch against Usman.
This time, they would fight for the title, as Usman put together won two more title defenses before they met at UFC 278. Following his win over Burns, Usman fought Masvidal and Covington once again. In his rematch with Masvidal, he finished him by knockout in round two of their meeting at UFC 261. As for Covington, Usman beat him in their rematch by unanimous decision for his fifth straight title defense. In the rematch with Edwards, Usman seemed to have secured the decision going into the final minute of the fight, but seconds later, Edwards shocked the world with a knockout win via head kick to capture the UFC welterweight champion. Now, each side looks to improve their over one another to 2-1 as Edwards looks for his first successful title defense, and Usman tries to take his belt back.
UFC 286 Results – Co-Main Event
In Saturday’s co-main event, an exciting pair of lightweight strikers collide as former title challenger Justin Gaethje takes on Rafael Fiziev. Entering this fight, Gaethje is only 1-2 in his last three fights. Prior to that, he had put together four straight wins all by way of KO/TKO over James Vick, Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone and Tony Ferguson. When Gaethje defeated Ferguson by fifth round TKO at UFC 249, he became the interim UFC lightweight champion. He would go on to face the champion at the time, Khabib Nurmagomedov. The pair fought at UFC 254 and Nurmagomedov easily won the fight in the second round, submitting Gaethje with a triangle choke.
After the loss, Gaethje went on to pick up a win when he defeated Michael Chandler by unanimous decision at UFC 268. In his most recent outing, Gaethje suffered another loss at UFC 274 in a lightweight title fight that Gaethje was the only eligible winner of. His opponent, UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, had missed weight prior to the fight and was immediately stripped of the title, making Gaethje the only one eligible to become champion had he won. Oliveira beat him that night by submission in the first round. Now Gaethje looks to bounce back at UFC 286 as he takes on a rising star hungry for a title shot.
Fiziev made his UFC debut in 2019 at 6-0 and lost by TKO in the first round against Magomed Mustafaev at UFC Fight Night 149. Since then, Fiziev has won six fights in a row with three KO/TKO finishes. Following the unsuccessful debut, Fiziev put together back-to-back unanimous decision wins over Alex White at UFC Fight Night 162 and Marc Diakiese at UFC Fight Night 172. After those wins, he picked up his first finish in the octagon with a first round knockout over Renato Moicano at UFC 256. He then picked up another unanimous decision win when he defeated Bobby Green at UFC 265. Fiziev picked up another knockout finish, this time over Brad Riddell in round three of their matchup at UFC Vegas 44. That win earned Fiziev his first UFC main event as he finished Rafael dos Anjos by fifth round knockout in his most recent outing at UFC Vegas 58. Sitting at number six in the lightweight division, a win for Fiziev over the third ranked Gaethje would put him in a good spot for title contention.
UFC 286 Results – Main Card
Kicking things off at 5 p.m. EST/2 p.m. PST on the main card will be a middleweight fight between former title challenger Marvin Vettori and Roman Dolidze. Vettori is coming into this fight with a 1-2 record in his last three fights. He earned a title shot following a five fight win streak, facing Israel Adesanya in a rematch at UFC 263. Adesanya defeated Vettori for the second time, winning the fight by unanimous decision. After that, Vettori went on to pick up a unanimous decision win over Paulo Costa at UFC Vegas 41 before suffering another loss at the hands of former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker at UFC Fight Night 209. As for Dolidze, he comes into this fight on a four fight win streak with a UD win over Laureano Staropoli and KO/TKO finishes over Kyle Daukaus, Phil Hawes, and Jack Hermansson.
Following that matchup will be a women’s flyweight bout between former title challenger Jennifer Maia and Casey O’Neill. Maia challenged for the UFC women’s flyweight championship back at UFC 255 where she suffered a unanimous decision loss to the champion Valentina Shevchenko. Maia has gone 2-2 since then as she bounced back from the loss with a unanimous decision win over Jessica Eye in her next fight. After that, she dropped two in a row with UD losses to Katlyn Chookagian and Manon Fiorot. In her most recent outing, Maia snapped that two fight losing streak with a unanimous decision win over Maryna Moroz. O’Neill will be entering this fight with an undefeated record of 9-0 as she made her UFC debut in 2021 at 5-0. She has finished three out of four of her UFC fights as she holds a TKO win over Shana Dobson in her debut, followed by a submission win over Lara Procopio and another TKO win over Antonina Shevchenko. In her most recent fight, O’Neill picked up her first decision win in the octagon with a split win over Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 271.
Finally, before the lightweight co-main event will be a matchup in the welterweight division between Gunnar Nelson and Bryan Barberena. Nelson is coming into this fight with just one win in the last three years. In 2019, he had dropped back-to-back losses at the hands of Leon Edwards and Gilbert Burns. After that, Nelson did not fight again until his most recent fight which took place in 2022 at UFC Fight Night 204 where he defeated Takashi Sato by unanimous decision. Unlike Nelson, Barberena has fought six times since 2019. Over that span he has put together a record of 4-2 with wins over Anthony Ivy, Darian Weeks, Matt Brown and former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
UFC 286 Results
MAIN CARD (PPV/ESPN+ – 5 p.m. EST/2 p.m. PST)
Leon Edwards def. Kamaru Usman via Majority Decision (48-46, 48-46, 47-47)
Justin Gaethje def. Rafael Fiziev via Majority Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
Gunnar Nelson def. Bryan Barberena via Submission (Armbar) at 4:51 of Round One
Jennifer Maia def. Casey O’Neill via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Marvin Vettori def. Roman Dolidze via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPNews – 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PST)
Jack Shore def. Makwan Amirkhani via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:27 of Round Two
Chris Duncan def. Omar Morales via Split Decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Yanal Ashmouz def. Sam Patterson via Knockout (Punches) at 1:15 of Round One
Muhammad Mokaev def. Jafel Filho via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:32 of Round Three
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass – 12:30 p.m. EST/9:30 a.m. PST)
Lerone Murphy def. Gabriel Santos via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Christian Leroy Duncan def. Dusko Todorovic via TKO (Knee Injury) at 1:52 of Round One
Jake Hadley def. Malcolm Gordon* via TKO (Punches) at 1:01 of Round One
Joanne Wood def. Luana Carolina via Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Jai Herbert vs. Ludovit Klein is Determined a Majority Draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
Veronica Hardy def. Juliana Miller via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
*Gordon missed weight at 129.5 pounds and will forfeit 30 percent of his purse.
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