UFC 286 Was One to Remember!

The epic trilogy comes to an end


Edmond Hayrapetyan, Staff Writer

Held at The O2 Arena in London, England on March 18, 2023, UFC 286 was full of entertainment, from the start of the Main Card to the Main Event. The Co-Main Event was headlined as a bout between Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev, and it also featured Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman fighting for the Welterweight Championship.

The Co-Main Event started off hot, with Gaethje versus Fiziev. Both great strikers battled it out in the cage for three rounds. Fiziev started off with explosive strikes, but Gaethje was able to fend them off easily, leading Fiziev to wear out. 

And that is when experience kicked in for Gaethje, and he took over in the second and third rounds with massive strikes, causing cuts under the eyes of the Azerbaijani, and blood began to leak immediately. After Fiziev was cut, it got more challenging for him to continue at a strong pace, causing him to be outstruck the last two rounds and lose via decision. 

After the Co-Main Event was wrapped up, the Main Event was finally underway between the champion Leon Edwards and the former champion Kamaru Usman. These two have had a long and iconic rivalry. 

With the first fight going in favor of the former champ, the second fight was the most iconic one and it was expected that Usman would defend his title. During that second bout, Usman dominated for five rounds straight, and he was less than a minute away from defending his title. 

But Edwards had other plans. With 56 seconds left in the fifth and final round, Edwards shocked the MMA world and landed a head kick to knock out Usman cold. 

This snapped Usman’s 15-fight UFC winning streak, and Edwards became the new Welterweight Champion and had a memorable post fight interview. These moments led to a very entertaining matchup to conclude the trilogy in UFC 286. 

In this third meeting, Usman could not find his moment and attempted to wrestle the whole way out. But Edwards refused to be taken down and fought to stay on his feet. 

Edwards outstruck Usman for most of the fight, and his main strikes came from his leg and body kicks, which eventually led Usman to be struck in the face. After five hard-fought rounds, the Main Event came to an end, and Leon Edwards came away with the win and successfully defended his title via decision.

After this third meeting, Edwards and Usman gave each other mutual respect and ended their iconic rivalry. UFC 286 was overall an intense and entertaining event and had a great ending. If you are interested in watching UFC 287 on April 8th, make sure to buy the Pay Per View.