This Saturday, there’s a trilogy fight at UFC 286. Leon Edwards is looking to defend his welterweight strap against the man he dethroned, Kamaru Usman.
There was that incredible last-minute, head-kick knockout by Edwards to shock the world. That was last time but what about now? Usman is listed as the -260 favorite (Edwards at +200), according to MMA odds by BetUS Sportsbook.
This bout has the requisite amount of props, as per MMA lines.
UFC 286 Edwards vs. Usman Odds
Leon “Rocky” Edwards had to work his way around years of bad luck, and the UFC not giving him the chance he deserved. There was the sucker punch (in his hometown) by Jorge Masvidal, plus not getting a title shot when one clearly was due,
Injuries, opponents pulling out, and visa issues seemed to cause so much turmoil in Edwards’ career that many thought he’d never get a shot at a title. The last meeting with Usman did not make a ton of sense, largely because Usman won their first bout easily.
Edwards did dominate against Nate Diaz at UFC 263, that despite getting caught with a big shot late in that fight.
Then, last August at UFC 278, Edwards made a miraculous comeback to land a perfect head-kick in the final minute. That absolutely starched Usman. Edwards has enjoyed his reign as champ, but now gets to prove that result wasn’t luck.
Bringing this fight to his hometown of London allows Edwards to finally see the trappings of his title. He will earn the biggest payday of his career when he steps into the octagon.
Usman the Challenger
We aren’t used to seeing Usman as the challenger in a title fight. Before losing to Edwards, Usman had a bout-winning streak of 19, on the precipice of being recognized as the best welterweight in UFC history.
That mistake in his striking defense, Usman falling prey to a left-straight feint and moving his head off-center right into Edwards’ shin, was what stripped away his crown. Expect a focused, sharp and prepared Kamaru Usman this time around.
Usman is fully embracing the role of challenger, traveling across the world and stepping into enemy territory in an attempt to regain his belt.
With Usman buoyed by a team including coach Trevor Whittman, training partner Justin Gaethje, and the “killers” that go through Denver to prepare at elevation, he will be ready.
Edwards to Win Again
Edwards did open as an even bigger underdog than the last fight. BetUS has him as a +205 underdog, and that is too good to ignore
Kamaru Usman was dominating that last fight, en route to an easy decision going his way. Edwards then flipped the script with that kick. While that was stunning, this is Edwards’ moment.
Edwards now has that self-belief in his corner. He now knows he can hurt Usman.
The last meeting saw an impressive first round by Edwards. He stuffed takedowns, remained very calm in tough situations, then had a beautiful takedown with an outside trip to control the majority of the round.
Now, without the altitude making Edwards a tired and lackluster fighter, how will this bout unfold? Edwards is going to look sharp at the outset, and we’re going with him.