At long last, the United Kingdom gets a UFC pay-per-view once more. It’s the first in almost seven years and oh boy, is it a stacked card on March 18 in London. Of course, the headliner bout is Edwards-Usman III which we have full predictions on. Give this article before you lay a dollar on UFC 286 betting because these free picks are too good to pass up.
Edwards Vs. Usman Betting Pick
Trilogy fights aren’t all that common in the UFC, but that’s what we’re getting here when welterweight champion Edwards fights Usman. The latter won the first fight way back in 2015, but the 2022 bout ended with Edwards scoring a KO-of-the-year-caliber kick to Usman. Despite the recent loss, Usman is being pegged as the favorite by the top UFC betting sites across the board:
The odds above are no surprise to anyone that watched their UFC 278. Usman largely dominated the fight. He was on his way to a unanimous decision victory before a mistake in 4:04 of Round 5 cost him. Usman failed to see a left kick from Edwards which caught him clean for an instant KO. It was a shocking finish, but one that’s always on the table in this sport.
With the defeat, Usman’s dominant run in the promotion came to a halt. He was riding an 18-fight streak and had defended the championship successfully four times. Now it’s Edwards with the big streak. He’s up to 10 straight wins. His last loss? To Usman on a lowly UFC on FOX card. Oh, how far each has come to headline yet another show.
Honestly, we’d be stunned if Edwards retains. Outside a competitive round one (in which he became the first person to ever take down Usman in the UFC), Usman cruised in rounds 2 through 5 before the hail-mary knockout. Usman’s grappling proved to be too much as it typically is. That’s likely to remain the case less than a year later.
Can Edwards land another perfect blow to the head? Shoot, that might be his only clear path to victory cause he’s not going to beat Usman on the judge’s scorecard. We’re going to bet that lightning doesn’t strike twice and Usman wins comfortably. Our prediction is Usman wins by decision — which points to a good over bet too in case you’re not in love with the challenger's lopsided moneyline.
Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev Betting Pick
In the co-main event, one of the UFC’s fan favorites, Gaethje, makes his long-awaited return to the octagon. The heavy-hitting Gaethje hasn’t stepped into the ring since a loss to Charles Oliviera last May, but his return comes against another ascending fighter in the lightweight division in Fiziev, who is the betting favorite. Here are the current Gaethje-Fiziev odds:
Fiziev has taken the division by storm. He’s on a six-fight win streak and leveled up his opponent and performance seemingly every time. Fiziev stopped both Brad Riddell and former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos the last two times out. Gaethje is as tough as they come, but we don’t think this is a particularly good matchup for him.
Look, when Gaethje is in the octagon, he typically has the advantage when kicking. But UFC 286 will be the exception because that’s Fiziev’s bread and butter. Fiziev’s elite Muy Thai background will give him the advantage here. And when he’s not kicking, his elusiveness inside the octagon and lightning-fast blows will be a problem for even a veteran like Gathje.
We’re picking Fiziev to win, and probably in knockout fashion. He’s going to carve him up striking, and Gaethje’s age is catching up to him so we wouldn’t be stunned if he’s put on the canvas multiple times. Fiziev might be in line for a title shot after this, especially if he beats Gaethje handedly, which he’s brought up before. Expect a devastating performance from Fiziev in a winning effort.
Joanne Wood vs. Luana Carolina Betting Pick
A couple of female flyweights will duke it out on the card too. What’s special about this fight is Wood is Scottish. Obviously, you know UFC books local-ish fighters when they travel to shows. While UFC is in London, it’s not like the city doesn’t have Scottish influence so Wood should be a crowd pleaser here. Perhaps that explains why Wood is also the betting favorite over Carolina:
We’re betting against Wood, however. Honestly, her career is beginning to fade. The 37-year-old is on a three-fight losing streak against to Lauren Murphy, Taila Santos, and newly-crowned champion Alexa Grasso. 29-year-old Carolina is in more peak form and should be able to play spoiler in this fight despite Wood’s crowd favoritism.
How To Bet On UFC 286
The three fights above are our favorite UFC 286 picks, but alas, the card is full of more bets. If you want a complete list of UFC 286 bets, then hit one of the bookmakers listed underneath. You’ll find up-to-date odds on more than a dozen fights on any one of these bookmakers.
Pay close attention to the table when choosing what site to bet at too. We’ve included unbiased sportsbook reviews and big-money sign-up bonus details — two key pieces of information you should consider when deciding where to wager at. Once you have a site locked down, you’ve found yourself a one-stop shop for UFC 286 betting!