After authoring the most dramatic upset of 2022, Welterweight champion, Leon Edwards, attempts to make it two straight against Kamaru Usman in UFC 286’s main event this weekend (Sat., March 18, 2023) inside The O2 in London, England. The ESPN+streamed pay-per-view (PPV) show will also showcase a clash of Lightweight knockout artists between Rafael Fiziev vs. Justin Gaethje, as well as Gunnar Nelson’s return opposite Bryan Barberena.
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What Went Wrong at UFC Las Vegas?
Karl Williams, Bruno Silva, Mario Bautista, Vitor Petrino
I’m surprised Petrino let it get that close, but otherwise, top marks.
Got him with the inverted triangle, just like I predicted!
In all seriousness, that was a bad pick for 80 percent of the fight. I’d banked on Grant’s aggression and volume, neither of which were present until the tail end of the third. At least things worked out.
Just had to pull a Charles Oliveira and come in as a Lightweight, huh? Cut the Silva payout in half.
All the props in the world to Merab Dvalishvili — he fought a beautiful fight and never let Yan out of first gear.
What was so frustrating was that she got 99 percent through a takedown on more than one occasion, but just couldn’t quite figure out the last step that would get Ariane Lipski to the mat. This close.
Yeah, that was terrible. I overestimated him completely, especially his grappling and gas tank, and underestimated Josh Fremd in return. At least Aldrich busted the parlay beforehand.
UFC 286 Odds For The Under Card:
Jack Shore (-500) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (+400)
Honestly, not opposed to sticking Shore in a parlay if you need that little bit extra. Great wrestling and great cardio are the exact tools needed to ruin Amirkhani’s day, as we saw in “Mr. Finland’s” loss to Jonathan Pearce last time out. Though the weight is a concern — as this is Shore’s UFC debut at 145 pounds — everything else is so tilted in his favor that he merits a look regardless.
Omar Morales (-120) vs. Chris Duncan (EVEN)
Too close to call. Duncan probably has a slight edge in power, but he’s so defensively lax that it’s hard to justify betting on him.
Sam Patterson (-265) vs. Yanal Ashmoz (+225)
Patterson strikes me as a reasonably safe investment. Though he’s got his fair share of flaws, his huge height and reach advantages should let him control things on the feet, while his guillotine is waiting should Ashmoz get too eager to force his way inside and initiate the grappling.
Lerone Murphy (-165) vs. Gabriel Santos (+140)
Murphy should have the edge on the feet, but he’s been out for awhile and Santos has an attrition-heavy style that could wreak havoc if “The Miracle’s” got any lingering rust.
Muhammad Mokaev (-800) vs. Jafel Filho (+575)
Too wide to be worth an investment, especially since Filho is a very adept Brazilian jiu-jitsu artist.
Christian Leroy Duncan (-205) vs. Dusko Todorovic (+175)
I’d recommend a bet on Duncan, though with some reservations. He’s shown some vulnerability to grinding styles in the past that makes a huge bet ill-advised, but at the same time, Todorovic’s struggles with Jordan Wright and other strong athletes suggest that Duncan can blow him away without getting sucked into a slog.
Jake Hadley (-380) vs. Malcolm Gordon (+310)
Steer clear! Gordon’s flipped the script before and Hadley leaves enough openings that an out-of-nowhere reversal from “X” isn’t out of the question.
Joanne Wood (-190) vs. Luana Carolina (+160)
For as badly as Wood has struggled of late, it’s worth keeping in mind that she’s fought the likes of Taila Santos and Alexa Grasso, who are on a whole other level than Carolina. “Dread” lacks the pressure and wrestling skills that have bedeviled Wood in the past, preferring to play a rangy striking game that plays into Wood’s hands. The takedowns Carolina surrendered to Molly McCann also suggest that Wood can take it to the ground as needed, making her a worthwhile investment.
Ludovit Klein (-190) vs. Jai Herbert (+160)
Klein opened at around -160, and while I’m frustrated that it didn’t last, he’s still a steal. His bugbears are pressure and wrestling, neither of which Herbert brings to the table. In a pure kickboxing battle, Klein’s edges in technique and power are far more significant than Herbert’s height and reach. Bank on “Mr. Highlight.”
Juliana Miller (-435) vs. Veronica Hardy (+350)
Hardy’s been out for a long time, so caution seems warranted.
UFC 286 Odds For PPV Main Card:
Kamaru Usman (-245) vs. Leon Edwards (+205)
I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to word this, so here goes: Edwards will have a lot more trouble engineering the scenario that won him the first fight than Usman will have in avoiding it. I’m not saying it was a fluke or lucky or anything like that — Edwards capitalized magnificently on an opportunity. However, I just don’t see him creating that opportunity a second time.
Rafael Fiziev (-230) vs. Justin Gaethje (+195)
Before Fiziev’s fight with Rafael dos Anjos, I’d have leaned toward Gaethje. Now — despite being a diehard “Highlight” fan since his World Series of Fighting (WSOF) days — I’ve got “Ataman.” The speed difference, combined with Fiziev’s increasingly potent ability to deal with pressure, figures to be decisive.
Gunnar Nelson (-435) vs. Bryan Barberena (+350)
Nelson is a world-class Brazilian jiu-jitsu artist and Barberena still can’t wrestle. Looks like a bargain from here.
Casey O’Neill (-165) vs. Jennifer Maia (+140)
Too evenly matched. Maia’s the more destructive striker, O’Neill the more potent grappler, and I wouldn’t touch a matchup this volatile at these odds.
Marvin Vettori (-295) vs. Roman Dolidze (+245)
I’ve sworn off betting on Dolidze fights — the guy never runs out of rabbits to pull out of his hat.
UFC 286 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Joanne Wood and Gunnar Nelson: Bet $46 to make $40
- Parlay — Ludovit Klein and Kamaru Usman: Bet $40 to make $45.60
- Parlay — Christian Leroy Duncan and Rafael Fiziev: Bet $30 to make $33.90
- Parlay — Jack Shore and Sam Patterson: Bet $46.20 to make $30
There’s nothing quite like a great rubber match to get the blood flowing. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
Current Total: $198.07
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 286 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN2/ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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