UFC 286 goes down this weekend at the O2 Arena in London, England. In the main event, Leon Edwards defends his welterweight title against Kamaru Usman.
Edwards and Usman have fought twice in their careers, with the Nigerian winning the first fight by a comfortable decision and ‘Rocky’ winning the second fight at UFC 278, where he pulled off one of the most spectacular comeback victories by knocking his opponent out in the fifth and final round. The trilogy will have a lot on the line.
UFC 286: Edwards vs Usman Analysis And Prediction
Edwards is one of the most clinical strikers in the UFC welterweight division. He’s not very stylish or powerful compared to his peers, but he’s highly effective with a strong Muay Thai base. The key aspects of Leon’s striking are his long-range and straight punches. With a 74-inch reach, he often lands more damage than he absorbs. Usman isn’t as technical as Edwards when it comes to striking, but he’s still extremely well-versed and has improved tremendously over the past few years.
Statistically, Usman has a slight edge in striking as he lands four-and-a-half significant strikes per minute on average, whereas Edwards being the more conservative striker lands two-and-a-half. Defensively, the two fighters are very even as they absorb a little over two significant strikes per minute on average. Overall, Edwards will have the edge in striking.
Kamaru Usman is one of the best wrestlers in the UFC welterweight division. A freestyle wrestler, who relies heavily on chain wrestling, Usman has mastered his art. Edwards is a very capable grappler in his own right. He’s not a mauler like Usman, but has solid fundamentals and technical knowledge of the art. His submission skills are incredibly good as well. However, this is an area where Usman will excel come fight night.
A key factor in this fight will be Usman’s mentality. After facing a brutal knockout at UFC 278, it’ll be interesting to see where he is at mentally and if that has an effect on the fight. He’ll surely be more conservative and will want to take the fight to the mat immediately. All in all, Usman will do what he does best and take a decision win home.
Prediction: Kamaru Usman by decision
Leon Edwards (+195)
Kamaru Usman (-230)
Who do you think will win the welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman at UFC 286?