Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman Trilogy Set for UFC 286 in London

Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards, UFC
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - AUGUST 19: (L-R) Kamaru Usman of Nigeria and Leon Edwards of Jamaica face off during the UFC 278 ceremonial weigh-in at Vivint Arena on August 19, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

It’s official: Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman is your UFC 286 headliner in March.

At Saturday’s UFC Vegas 67 post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White confirmed to media outlets including Cageside Pres that the Pay-Per-View will be headlined by welterweight champion Edwards (20-3, 1NC) and former pound-for-pound number one Usman (20-2).

The card is scheduled to take place on March 18 at the O2 Arena in the English capital, with several bouts already confirmed for the promised spectacle.

Leon Edwards will look to put another stamp on his rivalry with Kamaru Usman, as last time out, he snatched the title away from him in the dying embers of their second fight with one of the greatest comeback wins ever.

Rumours began circulating late last year that this trilogy fight wouldn’t come to fruition, or at least not just yet. On the 29th of December, Usman was helping promote an event in his home country, Nigeria, where he was pictured with a brace on his hand.

After his defeat to Edwards back in August at UFC 277, Usman underwent surgery on his hand which made it unclear when the trilogy would take place.

Not only did Dana White confirm that the main event is official, he also confirmed that the event now has its co-main event. That’s because #3-ranked lightweight Justin Gaethje will take on Azerbaijani Muay Thai specialist and #6-ranked fighter Rafael Fiziev.

Gaethje and Usman both train under Elevation head coach Trevor Wittman in Colorado.

The two explosive lightweights have been locked into talks since late last year, however, both of them underwent surgery on their noses, and talks stalled.

Now it’s a done deal. Gaethje also confirmed the booking on Saturday.

Dana White said following UFC Vegas 67 that “I told you guys Leon Edwards and Usman is finalised, and Gaethje and Fiziev are the co-main event for that fight in London. Both of those fights are done.”

UFC 286 at the O2 Arena on March 18, 2023 now features the following reported match-ups:

  • Leon Edwards (c) vs. Kamaru Usman – for the UFC welterweight championship
  • Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev
  • Marvin Vettori vs. Roman Dolidze
  • Nathaniel Wood vs. Lerone Murphy
  • Joanne Wood vs. Luana Carolina
  • Malcolm Gordon vs. Jake Hadley
  • Jennifer Maia vs. Casey O’Neill
  • Jai Herbert vs. Ľudovít Klein
  • Daniel Rodriguez vs. Gunnar Nelson
  • Chris Duncan vs. Michal Figlak
  • Veronica Macedo vs. Juliana Miller