UFC 286: Betting Odds, Analysis, Promos For Main Card and Prelims

Written By Ben Fowlkes on March 17, 2023
UFC 286

The UFC crosses the Atlantic on Saturday for UFC 286 from The O2 Arena in London, providing new UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards with something of a home game. He looks to defend his belt against the same man from whom he took it, former champ Kamaru Usman, who enters as the favorite in this 170-pound rubber match despite having been knocked out in the last meeting.

In the co-main event, lightweight slugger Justin Gaethje looks to climb back into the contender conversation at 155 pounds when he takes on Rafael Fiziev, who enters this bout on a six-fight winning streak.

But before delving into a complete analysis of the fights scheduled for UFC 286 on Saturday, let’s look at the best odds and offers from some of the major sportsbooks. Click on any of the odds below to navigate to the sportsbook with the best available price.

UFC 286 Odds For Entire Card

UFC 286 Main Card

Leon Edwards () vs. Kamaru Usman ()

Justin Gaethje () vs. Rafael Fiziev ()

Gunnar Nelson () vs. Bryan Barbarena ()

Jennifer Maia () vs. Casey O’Neill ()

Marvin Vettori () vs. Roman Dolidze ()

UFC 286 Prelims

Jack Shore () vs. Makwan Amirkhani ()

Chris Duncan () vs. Omar Morales ()

Sam Patterson () vs. Yanal Ashmoz ()

UFC 286 Early Prelims

Lerone Murphy () vs. Gabriel Santos ()

Christian Leroy Duncan () vs. Dusko Todorovic ()

Malcolm Gordon () vs. Jake Hadley ()

Joanne Wood () vs. Luana Carolina ()

Jai Herbert () vs. Ludovit Klein ()

Juliana Miller () vs. Veronica Macedo ()

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UFC 286 Main Event Preview

Normally when we see two fighters meeting in a title fight rubber match, there’s a major disparity in how the first two bouts went. That’s not the case here. In both of their other meetings, Usman’s wrestling was the major difference. It’s just that, while he controlled Edwards en route to a decision in the first fight, he made the mistake of getting kicked in the head in the final minute of the second fight.

Up until that moment, the fight was all Usman. It’s why he’s still the favorite here, despite ending the night unconscious when they met last summer. The conventional wisdom says that if he can just avoid the one big shot, but keep everything else the same, he should literally wrestle the title away from Edwards and become champ once more.

Edwards knows that this is likely the plan. Then again, he knew that last time and it didn’t help him much over the course of the first four rounds. MMA history tells us that a significant difference in wrestling ability is one of the hardest skill gaps to close. And Edwards has only had seven months to work on it. Is he really going to shut down Usman’s offensive attack, or is his best chance to once again put all his hopes into landing that one big shot?


Unless Usman has gotten considerably older or slower since his knockout loss last summer (always a possibility), he should be able to control Edwards and get the decision. Another Edwards win would indeed be an upset. What he has going for him this time is the confidence of being champ (and having seen Usman asleep on the canvas once), plus a boost from the home crowd. Still seems doubtful that will be enough to beat any version of Usman that’s in top form.

Main Event Round Betting

Main Event Method of Victory Odds

UFC 286 Co-Main Event Preview

To the untrained eye, Gaethje may look like a rock ‘em, sock ‘em robot come to life. But if you look a little closer, you’ll see that the man does have some strategy and skill in his game – and also the spirt of a rock ‘em, sock ‘em robot that occasionally takes over.

Fiziev is the more polished and more technical striker of the two. If he gets to play his game, controlling the distance and dictating the pace, he should pick Gaethje apart, though will probably struggle to finish him inside three rounds. What remains to be seen is if he might allow himself, through ego or just poor discipline, to be sucked into the sort of brawl where Gaethje is most at home.


If both fighters stick to their own stuff, Fiziev probably wins a judges’ decision. But Gaethje does have a knack for baiting opponents into his style of fight. He needs this one if he wants to get back into title contention. But in order to beat Fiziev, he needs to make it messy. Gaethje can win this if it resembles a parking lot brawl at closing time, but he’ll lose if it ends up looking like a kickboxing gym sparring session.

Co-Main Event Round Betting

Co-Main Event Method of Victory Odds

Other Main Card Bouts

Gunnar Nelson vs. Bryan Barberena

Nelson hasn’t fought in a year, but Barberena is exactly the kind of opponent he ought to be able to come back and beat. Barberena manages to win a lot of fights with toughness and pace, but to do that here he’ll probably need an assist from Nelson, who is typically too smart to let himself get pulled away from his strengths.

Jennifer Maia vs. Casey O’Neill

This has the potential to be a close fight, if only because O’Neill has yet to face the tougher competition that awaits her as she climbs the ranks. Her undefeated pro record looks better on paper than it really is, though from what we’ve seen of her there is real potential there. Maia represents a step up, but one that’s not overwhelmingly dangerous in any one area. The safest play here might be banking on this fight to see the scorecards one way or another.

Marvin Vettori vs. Roman Dolidze

This feels like a fight to find out whether or not Dolidze has what it takes to enter the upper echelon of the middleweight division. It also might be just a little more than he can handle right now. Vettori might have two losses in his last three, but those were against two of the best fighters in the world – and he wasn’t exactly blown out in either fight. Dolidze is dangerous once he gets going, but we’ve yet to see him beat a fighter this experienced and well-rounded.

Prelim Prop Bet Options

As usual when he’s on the lineup, Muhammad Mokaev is probably the safest lock on this entire fight card. He’s also the rare flyweight who doesn’t rely on the judges very much, so picking him inside the distance (-150) against Jafel Filho might be worth a play.

In featherweight action, it sure feels like the UFC is hoping to see Jack Shore ignite the British crowd by teeing off on Makwan Amirkhani, who’s got a sneaky submissions game once he gets the chance to use it, but has been on a dismal run of late that might be about to get worse. Shore by KO is at +230.

How to Watch UFC 286

  • Early prelims on ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass, 1 p.m. ET
  • Prelims on ESPNews/ESPN+, 3 p.m. ET
  • Main card on ESPN+/PPV, 5 p.m. ET

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Ben Fowlkes Avatar
Written by
Ben Fowlkes

Ben Fowlkes has been a sportswriter for over 15 years, writing for outlets such as USA Today, The Athletic, Sports Illustrated, and others. For many years he specialized in combat sports coverage, and he served as president of the MMA Journalists Association. He's also a published fiction writer whose work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, among other places.

View all posts by Ben Fowlkes