- Leon Edwards is the underdog at +190.
- Kamaru Usman is the favorite at -240.
- This is the 16th trilogy fight in the history of the UFC.
The highly anticipated third meeting between reigning UFC Middleweight Champion Leon Edwards (20-3) and former undisputed champion Kamaru Usman (20-2) goes down this weekend inside the O2 Arena in London. This will settle the score among the two best 170-pounders on the planet, with Usman winning the first fight and Edwards taking the second meeting.
#UFC286: @Leon_edwardsmma vs @USMAN84kg is LIVE NEXT SATURDAY on @ESPNPlus PPV at 5pmET!!! pic.twitter.com/sfThGd9nqT
— danawhite (@danawhite) March 12, 2023
Due to his strong performance in the second fight before getting caught with the head kick knockout, Usman will still be the favorite in BetMGM’s online sportsbook at -240 against Edwards, who, despite engineering a gigantic come-from-behind victory in August 2022, remains the underdog in UFC odds at +190.
Leon Edwards Recent Fight Results
Before mounting that incredible last-minute knockout win over Usman in their title rematch, Edwards was on a tear in the UFC. He was riding a nine-fight winning streak by beating Nate Diaz, Rafael Dos Anjos, Gunnar Nelson, Donald Cerrone, Peter Sobotta, Bryan Barberena, Vicente Luque, Albert Tumenov, and Dominic Waters.
In his first four bouts under the Las Vegas-based promotion, “Rocky” went 2-2, absorbing losses from Claudio Silva (split decision in his debut) and Usman (unanimous decision in their first fight) and beating Seth Baczynski (first-round knockout) and Pawel Pawlak (unanimous decision). Edwards was a standout in the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts promotion.
Edwards won eight in his first nine fights (including six finishes), with his lone loss coming from disqualification. These wins have led him to capture the BAMMA Welterweight title against Wayne Murrie and defend it successfully over Shaun Taylor. This impressive resume became his ticket to earn a contract with the UFC.
Kamaru Usman Recent Fight Results
Prior to losing his welterweight title in the rematch with Edwards, Usman was a dominant force in the UFC’s 170-pound division. He defended his belt five times against Colby Covington (twice), Jorge Masvidal (twice), and Gilbert Burns. Usman obtained the title in March 2019 by lopsidedly beating Tyron Woodley.
The “Nigerian Nightmare” completed an eight-fight sweep of his opponents in Rafael dos Anjos, Demian Maia, Emil Meek, Sergio Moraes, Sean Strickland, Warlley Alves, Alexander Yakovlev, and Leon Edwards (in their first fight) to earn his title shot against Woodley. Usman’s route to the UFC was through the Ultimate Fighter’s 21st edition in 2015, where he ruled the competition.
Usman had wins over David Glover, Rashid Abdullah, Steven Rodriguez, Lenny Lovato, and Marcus Hicks, all by TKOs, and suffered his sole loss to Jose Caceres via first-round submission in his first six professional MMA fights across multiple promotions.
Edwards vs. Usman 3: Tale of the Tape
|Leon Edwards||Kamaru Usman|
|Reach||74 inches||76 inches|
|Leg Reach||43 inches||41 inches|
|Fighting Style||Striker||Striker, Freestyle|
Edwards vs. Usman 3: Fight Analysis
The rematch between Edwards and Usman in August 2022 has revealed crucial aspects to look forward to in this rubber match. First, Edwards can hang against Usman in both the striking and grappling areas because he not only was able to get Usman down for the first time in his career but also threatened with submission attempts, especially in the opening round.
But, living up to his moniker of the “Nigerian Nightmare,” Usman went on to put on a masterclass performance in the next three-and-a-half rounds with his relentless pressure, crisp striking, and superior grappling skills, but he paid the hefty and painful price of being knocked out and losing his belt.
This is where the next point comes in: Edwards has the capability to put Usman to sleep, evidenced by that fifth-round head kick knockout that sent shockwaves throughout the MMA world. The now-famous knockout was made possible by Edwards’ ability to set up combinations paired with his incredible speed as a welterweight.
Even so, Usman’s chances of getting his belt back are high, especially knowing how the former undisputed champion prepares very well during rematches, just like he did against Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal, whom he fought and defeated in reruns. Usman may have learned his lesson to cruise to victory at the tail-end of fights, particularly when he is already ahead of the judges’ scorecards.
Official Prediction: Unanimous decision victory for Kamaru Usman.
See the entire Edwards vs. Usman 3 odds and wagers here.
Read More: UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards 2 Fight Card, Predictions & Odds
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