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UFC 286: Edwards vs Usman predictions as London hosts & 11/1 acca!
Alex Wrigley
Alex Wrigley
March 16, 2023
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Content Editor at Free Super Tips, Alex was born in the shadow of Old Trafford and is an avid Man Utd fan. After graduating from university he combined his love of football, writing and betting to join FST and now closely follows goings-on in all of the top European leagues.

There is a bumper weekend of sport following Cheltenham Festival and UFC 286 is one of the highlights of Saturday as the UFC roadshow heads to the O2 Arena in London.

With a more palatable viewing time and the likes of Kamaru Usman, Justin Gaethje and the UK’s Leon Edwards in action, it could be the biggest UFC event of the year so far.

We’ve enlisted the help of MMA expert Bobbie Jackson ahead of Saturday’s big night, with all his tips priced up with bet365, where new customers can get up to £30 in free bets to use on UFC 286.

UFC 286 accumulator

UFC 286 Main Event prediction – Kamaru Usman to win by decision or technical decision

The main event at UFC 286 has been seven months in the making as Leon Edwards makes the maiden defence of his welterweight title against former champion Kamaru Usman.

It’s the third time the duo will meet in the octagon with Usman winning their first contest by decision in 2015 before Edwards claimed a knockout victory at UFC 278 in August.

Edwards was on track to lose that second meeting in Salt Lake City, trailing on all three scorecards into the fifth round, however, he produced a highlight reel moment to land a head kick with 56 seconds remaining.

Few gave the Birmingham-based fighter a chance against Usman, who was number 1 in the pound-for-pound rankings, but he entered the bout unbeaten in 10 with nine victories during that sequence.

All three judges had given Rocky the first round but handed the following three to Usman and Edwards claims he gassed out after struggling with the high altitude in Utah.

If that is true, and Edwards can maintain a high output throughout this trilogy bout, then it could end up being a celebratory night in London.

However, Usman is likely to employ a gameplan that nullifies anything striker Edwards has to offer.

Usman is a highly-accomplished wrestler and should be able to dominate the champion on the ground.

Expect the Nigerian Nightmare to shoot for a takedown early as he looks to grind out a win on the canvas.

Justin Gaethje to win

The co-main sees #3 ranked Justin Gaethje take on #6 Rafael Fiziev in the highly-competitive lightweight division.

Former interim champion Gaethje has lost two of his last three fights but both of those were submission defeats in title shots against Charles Oliveira and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Fiziev isn’t going to be hunting a submission and this will be a straight-up brawl between two formidable strikers.

Gaethje has 19 knockout wins from 27 fights and Fiziev has eight from 13 previous contests.

Big-fight experience is likely to be the difference here and Gaethje should out-strike his rival to either win via decision or secure the stoppage.

Jack Shore to win by KO, TKO, Submission or DQ

Jack Shore, ranked #15 at bantamweight, has made the decision to return to featherweight following medical advice.

He was struggling to cut down to 61kg and claims he can now “train for the fight, not for a weight cut”.

The Welshman features against Makwan Amirkhani who has lost four of his last five trips to the octagon, including when last seen in London against Jonathan Pearce.

Shore was 16-0 prior to losing to Ricky Simon in July and he should bounce back here with victory inside the distance.

The 28-year-old has claimed 12 of his 16 wins by knockout or submission.

Muhammad Mokaev to win

Muhammad Mokaev made his UFC debut in London in March 2022, beating Cody Durden by submission.

He went on to beat Charles Johnson by decision in the capital in July 2022 and followed that up with a submission win over Malcolm Gordon at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, taking his overall record to 9-0 with one no-contest.

The 22-year-old has made clear his ambition to become the youngest champion in the history of the UFC and his three wins with the organisation have earned him the #12 spot in the flyweight rankings.

Next up is Jafel Filho who is making his UFC debut after winning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series in September.

There’s little doubt that Mokaev, who has earned six of his nine wins inside the distance, is a future title contender and he should make easy work of Filho.

Where to watch UFC 286 & what time does it start?

UFC 286 will be broadcast exclusively on BT Sport after they extended their existing partnership, with the event available to watch on BT Sport Box Office.

UK coverage of the event, which takes place at the O2 Arena, London, will begin at 7pm on Saturday, 18th March with the prelim bouts before the main card gets going at around 9pm.

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