Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman: UFC 286 Preview
The Championship Match
Leon Edwards looks to kickstart his reign as UFC welterweight champion tonight against familiar foe Kamaru Usman, who seeks to reclaim the belt he once held for several years. ‘Rocky’ makes the first defence of his 170lb belt after winning it last August with a last minute head-kick against Usman in their rematch. Edwards first tasted defeat to Usman eight years ago and was also losing the large majority of their second fight, something Usman has constantly reminded him of heading into their third meeting.
The Co-Main Event
Former interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje will feature in the co-main event of UFC 286 as he takes on Rafael Fiziev in what will inevitably be an action-packed fight. Unbeaten British prospects such as Christian Leroy Duncan and Muhammad Mokaev will also be competing, so here’s all you need to know about tonight’s card…
When and Where to Watch
Edwards and Usman are set to make their walk to the cage tonight in front of a sold out crowd at London’s O2 arena at around 10:30pm in the UK, with the actual fight likely getting underway at around 10:45pm. The early prelims will begin at 5pm and the BT Sport prelims will get underway at 7pm, but all of these fight times are subject chance depending on the results of the earlier bouts that take place.
Edwards and Usman’s third fight, and the rest of the UFC 286 fight card, will be broadcast exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office in the UK. Fans will be able to purchase the event at a cost of £19.95. The early prelims will not be shown on BT Sport but the later preliminary card, which starts at 7pm, will be available for BT Sport customers at no extra cost. The event, which you can purchase here, can be watched through BT TV online via the website or the BT Sport Box Office App, Virgin TV or Sky.
What the Fighters Have to Say
Edwards: “I think if you get knocked out like he did, you have to find something to clutch onto. He needs to build his confidence back up because going into it he thought he could never be taken down, he could never be hurt or knocked out. So I think he has to find something to clutch onto. He was winning the fight but who cares? It goes down as him out cold, head shot and that’s all that matters. When it’s all said and done, winners win and even on my worst day, my worst performance, I still knock him out.”
Usman: “Leon’s tough ad he was able to land that beautiful kick, I’ll give him that. As much as he’s building himself up with the new confidence or whatnot, at the end of the day it’s just going to be him and me locked in there. Him and I have been locked in there for two different fights now, and what has he shown me or shown himself to believe that he are is better fighter?”