Coming to us from across the pond at the O2 Arena in London, England this Saturday is another Pay-Per-View banger of a card with UFC 286. This card is headlined by the trilogy between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title. These fights start at 1:00 PM EST, so make sure we get those bets in early!
JAKE HADLEY vs MALCOM GORDON
Starting the night off with an early prelim fight between Jake Hadley and Malcom Gordon. Jake Hadley, a Dana White’s Contender Series winner in 2021 is coming into his third UFC appearance. This young guy is a stud! He has great boxing and striking and isn’t a slouch on the ground or grappling either. Gordon on the other hand, is a former TKO MMA champion in Canada which, unfortunately for him, hasn’t translated well to the UFC. Gordon is 2-3 in the UFC and has been finished in all 3 of his losses. Gordon’s path to victory would most likely be to use his grappling in hopes of getting Hadley off his feet. I believe this fight should be all Hadley and apparently so does Vegas, with Hadley coming into this fight as a -390 favorite. If you have the units to throw 4 or 5 down on Hadley (that’s a side play for me), I believe he gets it done inside the distance.
My Pick: Jake Hadley to win ITD -135
JUSTIN GAETHJE vs RAFAEL FIZIEV
I am so fucking pumped for this fight! Two of my personal favorite UFC lightweights face off this Saturday. Gaethje, the number 3 ranked lightweight and former interim lightweight champ is looking for a bounce back win after losing another shot at the belt against Charles Oliveira last year. Justin is a straight up savage who loves to just stand and bang with his opponents, which always makes for super fun fights. Out of his 23 professional MMA fights, he has won 20 by KO or submission. Justin has recently been under scrutiny with his UFC record being 6-4, but this dude is fighting straight killers such as (Kabib, Charles Oliveira, Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson). These are some of the best UFC lightweights of all time! He draws a tough fight in another savage, in his own right, in the number 6 ranked lightweight Rafael Fiziev.
Fiziev is a up and coming contender in the lightweight ranks. After losing his UFC debut in 2019, he has piled up a 6 fight win streak. His most recent being an impressive 5th round KO against Rafael Dos Anjos who just doesn’t get knocked out. Fiziev is masterful with his striking and just picks his opponents apart with his nasty leg kicks and quick, vicious combos. But how will that translate when he has Gaethje throwing absolute bombs his way? This fight is so close and tough for me to pick a winner, but I have to go with the dog who has been here before and faced tougher competition than the man standing across from him in the octagon.
My Pick: Justin Gaethje to win +190
KAMARU USMAN vs LEON EDWARDS
The fight that everyone has been waiting for. The third fight between former UFC welterweight champ Kamaru Usman vs the current champ Leon Edwards. For those who missed the insane fight between the two last year, I highly suggest you go watch it right now! Usman was dominating Edwards the whole entire fight. It wasn’t close in any way, shape or form. Just when everyone thought the fight was over, Edwards caught Usman with a head kick that was heard around the world.
I still can’t get Jon Anik’s “NOOOOOO WAAAAAAAY” out of my head when Edwards landed that fatal blow to dethrone Usman for the belt. Now we get to see if that kick was luck or a part of Edwards’ game plan.
Usman, before this previous fight, was the pound for pound best fighter in the world. Compiling a ridiculous 19 fight win streak and defending his welterweight belt 5 times after obtaining it in 2019. The newly minted champ Edwards is looking to hold onto the strap after a fantastic run in his own right. Notching a 9 fight win streak (excluding the no contest against Belal Muhammad due to eye poke), Edwards has amazing kickboxing and is always dangerous. Unfortunately for Edwards, I think this fight plays out very similar to their last fight with Usman dominating from start to finish. I look for Usman to use more of his wrestling and grappling to take Edwards to the mat or the fence where he should dominate. The line on Usman is a lot to risk in hopes of making a nice profit, but that’s the play for me!
My Pick: Kamaru Usman to win – 245
Best Parlay Plays for UFC 286
- Jake Hadley
- Muhammad Mokaev
- Lerone Murphy
- Jack Shore
- Gunnar Nelson
*ITD – Fighter will win via KO/TKO/Submission*
*Odds via DraftKings as of 3/16*