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UFC Best Bets
UFC Best Bets

The UFC returns to London for a 15-fight event Saturday, with Leon Edwards looking to defend the welterweight crown in a headlining rematch with Kamaru Usman. Read on for our UFC best bets for Saturday's UFC 286 based on the odds from our best sportsbooks.

England’s Edwards shocked the world this past August at UFC 278, where he scored a last-minute, comeback KO of Usman that avenged a 2015 loss and made him divisional kingpin. The 31-year-old now fights on home soil for the first time in four years with 10 straight wins and a UFC record of 12-2 to his name.

Usman, meanwhile, had won a gaudy 19 straight and successfully defended the welterweight strap five times prior to his last date with Edwards, one he was comfortably winning on points until the now immortal fifth-round KO.

In the lightweight co-main event, fan favorite Justin Gaethje aims to get back in the win column at the expense of a streaking Rafael Fiziev. Gaethje was last seen tapping to former champ Charles Oliveira this past May, while Fiziev most recently extended his win streak to six with a KO of Rafael dos Anjos last July.

With all that said, here are our UFC 286 best bets (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook, PointsBet; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our UFC best bets.

UFC 286 UFC schedule and odds

(odds via DraftKings)

Main Card (5 p.m. ET):

  • Leon Edwards (+210) vs. Kamaru Usman (-250)
  • Justin Gaethje (+195) vs. Rafael Fiziev (-230)
  • Gunnar Nelson (-360) vs. Bryan Barberena (+295)
  • Jennifer Maia (+150) vs. Casey O’Neill (-175)
  • Marvin Vettori (-250) vs. Roman Dolidze (+210)

Prelims (3 p.m. ET):

  • Jack Shore (-500) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (+400)
  • Chris Duncan (-105) vs. Omar Morales (-115)
  • Sam Patterson (-265) vs. Yanal Ashmoz (+225)
  • Muhammad Mokaev (-850) vs. Jafel Filho (+600)

Early Prelims (1 p.m. ET):

  • Lerone Murphy (-180) vs. Gabriel Santos (+155)
  • Christian Leroy Duncan (-210) vs. Dusko Todorovic (+180)
  • Malcolm Gordon (+330) vs. Jake Hadley (-410)
  • Joanne Wood (-170) vs. Luana Carolina (+145)
  • Jai Herbert (+165) vs. Ludovit Klein (-195)
  • Juliana Miller (-410) vs. Veronica Macedo (+330)

UFC 286 UFC best bets

  • Fight line: Fiziev ML vs. Gaethje (-223 via PointsBet) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Upset: Herbert ML vs. Klein (+165 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Winning method: Nelson by submission vs. Barberena (+118 via PointsBet) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Prop bet: Shore vs. Amirkhani to end by submission (+175 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Parlay: Fiziev (-230) + Nelson by submission (+110) + Shore vs. Amirkhani to end by submission (+175) = +729 (via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

UFC top picks for UFC 286

Fight line: Fiziev ML vs. Gaethje (-223 via PointsBet) ⭐⭐⭐

Yes, Gaethje is violence embodied, but the mileage is accruing and his rock’em-sock’em ways aren’t conducive to a sustainable run against elite competition. The lightweight contender’s right hand and low kicks remain the stuff of legend, but he’s tasked with a purebred and varied striker in Fiziev.

The streaking Fiziev boasts eight KO/TKO wins in a dozen pro victories and is the superior technician of this lightweight pairing, one who targets the dome, body, and legs with equal glee. With Fiziev owning more tread on the proverbial tires and Gaethje landing and eating nearly eight significant strikes per minute, I expect the former to withstand some nasty zingers while throwing everything in his arsenal to claim a guaranteed barnburner.

Upset: Herbert ML vs. Klein (+165 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

Jai Herbert’s had a rough go of his UFC stint thus far, but he’ll get the kind of striking duel he wants against a willing banger in Ludovit Klein.

The English native boasts a 4.5-inch edge in reach over Klein at 77 inches, and with the latter eating more significant strikes per minute than he lands, I’m banking on Herbert to find a home for his mitts before long. Granted, Klein is a legit threat when he’s the one pressing forward, but if Herbert can claim the center and keep Klein honest with an active jab and straight punches, he can make it two in a row in the Octagon.

Winning Method: Nelson by submission vs. Barberena (+118 via PointsBet) ⭐⭐⭐

The tapout is Gunnar Nelson’s preferred method of victory, having earned 12 submissions in 18 career wins, and I like his chances at making it a baker’s dozen against Bryan Barberena, a willing brawler who’s struggled on the mat in losses to Colby Covington, Leon Edwards, Jason Wiit, and most recently, Rafael dos Anjos.

Barberena gave up a combined 27 takedowns over those four defeats, and he gets a nasty mat technician who lands 60% of his attempts in Nelson. In short, I see Nelson bringing the action to the floor before long and having a grand old time at Barberena’s expense before securing back control and earning the tap with an old favorite: the rear-naked choke.

Prop Bet: Shore vs. Amirkhani to end by submission (+175 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

These two boast 20 submission victories between them, with Jack Shore owning eight and a recent tapout loss to Ricky Simon, and Makwan Amirkhani claiming 12 in 17 career victories.

Shore averages 3.66 takedowns per 15 minutes, and Amirkhani even more at 4.15, and with both men looking to get back in the win column, it won’t be a matter of if, but when they turn this clash into a grappling match. Whether Shore grinds out Amirkhani before transitioning to the back for a choke or the latter capitalizes on the slightest of openings to secure his patented anaconda choke, one of these men will either tap or venture off to dreamland come fight night.

Parlay: Fiziev (-230) + Nelson by submission (+110) + Shore vs. Amirkhani to end by submission (+175) = +729 (via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

UFC best bets made 17/3/2023 at 12:11 a.m. ET.

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