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UFC 286: Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman 3/18/2023 Analysis, Picks and Odds

UFC 286: Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman 3/18/2023 Analysis, Picks and Odds

The much-awaited UFC 286 is set to feature the third installment of the Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman rivalry. This time, the two will battle it out for the welterweight title in front of a hometown crowd for ‘Rocky’ in London, England. However, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is looking to spoil the party and snatch back his 170lb strap.

In their last bout, Edwards pulled off a stunning victory, delivering both Usman’s first UFC loss and KO loss in his career. Usman seemed to be on the brink of victory before Edwards landed a notorious leg kick, crowning him the new welterweight champion.

Edwards holds a record of 20-3-0 (1 NC) and stands at 6’2″ at 170 lbs with a southpaw stance and a reach of 74″. Usman, on the other hand, measures in at 6’0″ and fights at 170 lbs as a switch fighter. He looks to add a win to his total of 20-2-0 and extends his reach by 76″. 

In terms of significant strikes, Edwards lands 2.59 per min, while Usman connects on 4.55 significant strikes per min. Edwards lands 50% of the significant strikes he throws, and Usman lands 53%. Defensively, Edwards absorbs 2.28 significant strikes per min, and Usman absorbs 2.56. Edwards defends against 53% of the significant strikes his opponents throw at him, and Usman curbs 57% of the strikes thrown his way. In regard to the placement of these significant strikes, he was 20 of 38 to the head. 55% of the significant strikes landed by Usman and 76% of them landed by Edwards were thrown at a distance.

UFC 286: Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman 3/18/2023 Analysis, Picks and Odds

In the category of takedowns, Leon Edwards is not as effective of a wrestler as he takes his opponents down 1.39 times per 3 rounds. Edwards is getting his opponent to the mat on 33% of his attempts and is stopping 68% of the takedowns his opponents attempt. Usman is getting his opponent to the mat on 48% of the takedowns he tries and defending 97% of all takedowns attempted by his opposition. When it comes to going for the submission, Edwards is the more experienced submission fighter by attempting 0.4 finishes per 15 min while Usman attempts 0.1 finishes per 3 rounds.

Their last matchup was an evenly matched bout, with Edwards even getting a trip takedown and attempting a submission in the first round. However, as the fight went on, Usman took control with his pressure and wrestling, which has typically been his path to victory. Usman’s striking has also improved over the last few years, resulting in recent knockout wins against Covington, Burns, and Masvidal. However, this approach also led to him standing and banging in the fifth round against Edwards.

Despite their previous bouts, Usman remains the favorite at -240, with Edwards retaining his underdog status with a +200 betting line. The highly anticipated trilogy fight for the UFC welterweight title takes place this Saturday in London, England.

UFC 286: Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman

  • Prediction: Usman ML (-250)
  • Best bet: Usman by decision (+115)
  • Time: 5:00 p.m. ET/ 2:00 p.m. PT (Main Card)

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