UFC 286: “Edwards vs Usman 3” Live Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to the O2 Arena in London, England tonight for UFC 286: “Edwards vs Usman 3.” The event featured a UFC Welterweight Championship trilogy bout between current champion Leon “Rocky” Edwards and Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman.

In the lightweight co-main event, Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje took on Rafael “Ataman” Fiziev. Elsewhere on tonight’s main card, Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson met Bryan “Bam Bam” Barberena in a featured welterweight showdown. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for the UFC 286 card.


UFC Welterweight Championship

Leon “Rocky” Edwards vs Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman

Round 1:
Edwards struck first with a leg kick and a left cross. Usman answered with a kick to the body and he jabbed. Edwards began to land more kicks to Usman’s leg around the knee area, including a side kick, but Usman continued to press forward. Edwards hurt him with two body kicks and Usman dropped levels for a takedown attempt against the cage. Edwards spun Usman around and broke free from the clinch, but he grabbed the inside of Usman’s glove in the process and was warned for the foul. Edwards landed two leg kicks late in the round. 10-9 Edwards.

Round 2:
Time was called in the second round due to an alleged low blow from Edwards, but the fight quickly resumed and Edwards landed a quick leg kick. He followed with two left hooks and wobbled Usman with a knee. Usman recovered and he used a right cross to set up a takedown into a partial back control. Edwards stood up and Usman punched the side of his face. The fighters separated and Edwards shot in for a takedown attempt of his own, but Usman sprawled out of it. The fighters returned to their feet and Edwards landed a left cross. He followed up with a body kick and landed a left hook during an exchange before the bell. Close round. 10-9 Edwards due to damage.

Round 3:
Usman took Edwards down in the final round and Edwards stood up against the cage. Time was called when Edwards blatantly grabbed the cage and he was docked one point. The fight continued and leg kicks were exchanged. Time was called again when Usman was kicked in the groin. When the fight continued, Edwards landed a body kick and a knee to Usman’s face. He attacked Usman’s left knee with two kicks and Usman responded with an elbow. Another close round. 10-8 Usman due to the point deduction.

Round 4:
Usman countered a leg kick from Edwards with a quick left-right combo. Edwards knocked Usman down as both men threw kicks, but Usman quickly stood and the fighters separated from a clinch. Edwards landed a body kick and two more leg kicks. When Usman pressed forward, Edwards landed a counter left hook. Usman dumped Edwards to the mat and Edwards stood against the cage. Edwards fought off another takedown and landed a left cross, and Usman answered with a right. 10-9 Edwards despite the takedown.

Round 5:
Edwards open the final round with a head kick that was partially blocked. Usman attempted a double-leg takedown and Edwards stuffed it. He landed a head kick and then an uppercut and a knee. Usman tried again to take him down and Edwards fought him off. Edwards circled on the outside and landed a leg kick. Usman could not take him down and Edwards landed a body kick and a knee. Usman finally got Edwards down to a seated position against the cage. Edwards stood and pushed Usman away after landing a knee to the body. Usman tied Edwards up in one more clinch and Edwards broke free again with knees. The fight ended with Edwards landing a body kick and Usman charged at him with a left-right combo. 10-9 Edwards. Scores could be all over the place.

Winner: Leon Edwards by Majority Decision (48-46, 48-46, 47-47) after five rounds. He improves to 21-3-0, 1 ND and remains the UFC Welterweight Champion.


Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje vs Rafael “Ataman” Fiziev

Round 1:
Gaethje landed a switch kick to the body and Fiziev narrowly missed with a right hook. He landed a leg kick and Gaethje fired back with a left hook. Punches were exchanged in close and Fiziev targeted Gaethje’s body with a nice kick. He landed another body kick and a right hook, then ducked under a right hand from Gaethje. A quick combination landed for Gaethje and Fiziev answered with a body kick. He stuffed a takedown, but Gaethje landed an overhand right. Fiziev jumped in with a flying knee to the body and the round ended with an exchange of punches. 10-9 Fiziev.

Round 2:
Fiziev landed a vicious liver kick to open round two, then jumped in with a knee to the ribs as well. Gaethje ducked under a spinning backfist from Fiziev and time was called when Fiziev was poked in the eye. Action continued and Fiziev blocked a head kick. Both men landed leg kicks and Fiziev followed with a lead left hook to Gaethje’s temple. Gaethje put together a three-punch combo and Fiziev responded with an uppercut and a knee to the body. Gaethje landed two right hooks in close and Fiziev threw a front kick to his stomach. Fiziev switched stances after taking a hard leg kick from Gaethje, who countered a body kick with a left hook that cut Fiziev beside his right eye. Competitive round. 10-9 Gaethje.

Round 3:
Fiziev stunned Gaethje with an overhand right and followed with a body kick. He hurt Gaethje with a left hook and a front kick to the body, but Gaethje recovered quickly. Fiziev secured a Thai clinch and briefly landed knees before the fighters separated and Gaethje landed a nice combination. He jabbed and avoided a right hand from Fiziev, who struggled to get past Gaethje’s jabs. An overhand right scored for Gaethje, as well as an uppercut. In close, Gaethje landed another uppercut that snapped Fiziev’s head back. Fiziev began to bleed heavily from another cut on his face and Gaethje punished him with jabs and a massive right hook. Gaethje landed an uppercut and took Fiziev down just before the bell. 10-9 Gaethje.

Winner: Justin Gaethje by Majority Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28) after three rounds. He improves to 24-4-0.


Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson vs Bryan “Bam Bam” Barberena

Round 1:
Barberena targeted the inside and outside of Nelson’s lead leg with early leg kicks. Nelson clinched and secured double underhooks while holding Barberena against the fence. He picked Barberena up and took him down into half-guard. Barberena struck from the bottom and Nelson isolated his right arm for a keylock attempt. He let it go and dropped two elbows to Barberena’s face. Nelson passed to mount and landed another elbow, then spun into a quick armbar and Barberena tapped out.

Winner: Gunnar Nelson by Submission (Armbar) at 4:51 of round one. He improves to 19-5-1.


Jennifer Maia vs “King” Casey O’Neill

Round 1:
Maia landed two right hooks early in the fight and O’Neill landed a jab-cross combo. Maia fired off a quick combination of punches and O’Neill landed a right hook soon after. O’Neill’s face reddened from the force of Maia’s jabs and right hands. Maia caught a body kick and tried to take O’Neill down, but O’Neill maintained her balance and landed a right hand as she backed away. Maia scored with a knee in close and she finished a combination with a head kick that was partially blocked. Good round. 10-9 Maia.

Round 2:
O’Neill pressed the action in the second round and she landed two right hands. Maia punched her way into a clinch, but O’Neill quickly pushed her away. Maia landed six quick punches in succession and the fighters exchanged combinations after O’Neill landed a body kick. Maia clinched after O’Neill landed a right hook and she held her against the cage. Maia landed an elbow and two hooks as she backed away, then moved forward with a punching combination. Both women landed right hooks and Maia cracked O’Neill with a lead left hand. Closer round. Still 10-9 Maia.

Round 3:
Maia scored with a quick combo to begin round three and O’Neill landed a body kick. She tried to take Maia down and Maia easily thwarted her, then took O’Neill’s back in a standing clinch. O’Neill escaped from the clinch and Maia bloodied her nose with a one-two. She followed with a knee and a right hook. O’Neill jabbed and walked forward, but Maia countered with a hard jab of her own. Both women landed three-punch combos and Maia used her jab to set up a straight right. O’Neill responded with two punches and a front kick before Maia took her back. She held O’Neill against the cage and tried to take her down. O’Neill pushed Maia away and landed a big overhand right. 10-9 O’Neill, just barely.

Winner: Jennifer Maia by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. She improves to 21-9-1.


Marvin “The Italian Dream” Vettori vs Roman “The Caucasian” Dolidze

Round 1:
Vettori immediately attacked Dolidze’s lead leg with kicks and he scored with a right hook as Dolidze moved forward, but Dolidze stunned him with a flurry of rights and lefts that forced Vettori to retreat and circle away. Vettori retook the centre of the cage and he landed a one-two. Dolidze landed an overhand right and Vettori replied with a left hook. He used his jab to set up another straight left hand and Dolidze countered with a right. Time was called when Vettori was headbutted in the jaw. The fight resumed and Vettori blocked two head kicks. Dolidze missed with two right hooks, but he landed his next two and Vettori had to back up to the cage again. Vettori jabbed and threw a head kick that was blocked at the bell. 10-9 Dolidze.

Round 2:
It was more of the same early in the second round and Dolidze continued to press forward while Vettori jabbed and landed leg kicks. Dolidze landed one overhand right and missed with a second. His output slowed down, however, and Vettori had more success with his leg kicks. He landed a jab and a straight left hand in the final seconds. 10-9 Vettori.

Round 3:
Vettori stayed outside of Dolidze’s range and jabbed, then kicked his lead leg. A right cross scored for Dolidze and he followed with a three-punch combo. Dolidze landed an overhand right, then a second one after Vettori attacked his leg with two more kicks. Vettori finished a combination with another leg kick, and he scored with two left crosses before the end of the close fight. 10-9 Vettori.

Winner: Marvin Vettori by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 19-6-1.


(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)