The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns with yet another massive PPV event: UFC 286: Edwards vs Usman 3. While the main focus will always be on the title fight, this is one of the best cards we have seen in a while and we have selected the best fights for analysis and predictions.
UFC 286 Full Card Predictions: Analysis, Betting Odds, and Picks
Muhammad Mokaev vs Jafel Filho
Muhammad Mokaev Preview
Mokaev is a real flyweight phenomenon that already has all the necessary skills in order to topple the best from their places. He has incredible footwork, quick change of stance, and positions, and a huge arsenal of strikes. Mokaev will be many times faster than Filho and will not let him move in the stance. But even when the fight goes to the ground, Muhammad will put pressure on the opponent and also enter a position convenient for himself.
Jafel Filho Preview
A classic BJJ specialist that tries to pretend to be able to compete with experienced boxers. So far, like Mokaev, he is dealing with the less fortunate middle-ranked fighters and extending his winning streak. But he has no idea what the constant pressure of Mohammad is and the level of his combinations. Jafel obviously won’t be able to counter all of his attacks, and is unlikely to deal damage in return.
Mokaev vs Filho Prediction
One gets the impression that this fight will be even easier for Mokaev than the last fight against Gordon. Filho does not have such a form and physical strength to provide worthy resistance to Muhammad.
Yes, we will not see a quick finish on the ground, and Filho will do everything to stay in the attacking position for as long as possible and save points. But I’m afraid that by the end of the 3rd round he will have tried all the options and will try to “survive” the fight to the gong. Of course, the odds of Mokaev’s victory are critically low.
Marvin Vettori vs Roman Dolidze
Marvin Vettori Preview
After a disastrous fight against the great Whittaker, Vettori radically changed his approach to training camp. He promised to fix all the mistakes in the form of stagnation, a sense of distance, and movement around the octagon. It is noteworthy that this time his opponent will be the same slow and accurate fighter. But now Marvin will definitely not be afraid of sharp jabs and jumps, he will start working as the first number and will do everything to get ahead on points in the 1st rounds.
Roman Dolidze Preview
Roman is an incredibly strong, accurate, and cold-blooded puncher who knows how to catch opponents on mistakes. He successfully defeated the unprincipled Hermanson and is now counting on a quick title run. The problem is that the classic counter-two tactics may not be enough to knock down the aggressive Marvin. For each such blow, the Italian will inflict 3 of his own, and if he doesn’t knock him out, then he will definitely deprive Dolidze of the cherished points.
Vettori vs Dolidze Prediction
I am ready to believe in the new version of Vettori, but I doubt very much that we can say the same about Dolidze. No matter how good Roman is, so far his arsenal and gameplay look weak to compete in the tops. I won’t be surprised if the fight goes to a decision, but I have no doubt that due to his rich experience, motivation, and physical form, Marvin should take the fight on points.
Jennifer Maia vs Casey O’Neill
Jennifer Maia Preview
Jennifer Maia is ranked eighth in the women’s flyweight division. The 34-year-old Brazilian has 20 wins (1 by knockout, 11 by decision, 9 by submission) and nine losses (1 – 7 – 1). The Latin American in the last fight defeated the Ukrainian Marina Moroz. However, before that, she lost to Manon Fioro (unanimous) from France and American Kathleen Chookagian (unanimous).
Casey O’Neill Preview
Casey O’Neill is ranked 11th in the division. The 25-year-old representative of Australia has not yet suffered a single defeat in the strongest league in mixed martial arts. O’Neill has had five fights in the UFC. In the last fight, she defeated Roxanne Modafferi (separate) from the USA in February 2022. And before that, she defeated the titled Antonina Shevchenko (knockout). She has 12 wins (6 – 3 – 3) and one defeat (1) in MMA.
Maia vs O’Neill Prediction
Bookmaker analysts consider O’Neill to be the clear favorite for the upcoming fight. You can agree with them. She is taller than her rival and has a slightly larger arm span. In addition, for the Australian her age. Maia, of course, is a more experienced fighter, but in this case, the youth should win. What’s more, Casey is better on the stand and stronger in wrestling. In addition, O’Neill always strives to win early. The duel will not last the entire distance.
Gunnar Nelson vs Bryan Barberena
Gunnar Nelson Preview
Gunnar Nelson played football and hockey as a child. At the age of 13, he began training in Goju-ryu karate and won the Icelandic Underage Kumite Championship. At 17, the Icelander quit karate to train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and grappling.
The 34-year-old fighter has 18 wins (three by knockout) and five losses. In the last fight, he defeated Takashi Sato (unanimous decision) from Japan in March 2022.
Bryan Barberena Preview
Bryan Barbarena started his professional mixed martial arts career in late 2009. At first, he trained mainly at the MMA Lab in Arizona, and also participated in the Dakota Fighting Championships and King of the Cage. All but one of his victories came before the final gong.
The 33-year-old American has 18 wins (11 by KO) and nine losses. In a duel in December 2022, he lost to Rafael dos Anjos (submission).
Nelson vs Barberena Prediction
Analysts of bookmakers consider Nelson the undisputed favorite of the upcoming fight. You can agree with them. According to anthropometric indicators, the mute Icelander is superior to his rival. He has a more impressive range of arms and legs, and he is heavier.
Justin Gaethje vs Rafael Fiziev
Justin Gaethje Preview
Justin Gaethje is third in the lightweight division. The 34-year-old American has won one victory in his last three bouts, defeating Michael Chandler in November 2021 (unanimous decision). But before that, he lost to the Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov, and in May 2022, to the Brazilian Charles Oliveira (submission).
Gaethje has 23 wins (19 by KO) and four losses. The US fighter is a former interim UFC lightweight champion and ex-WSOF champion.
Rafael Fiziev Preview
Rafael Fiziev ranks sixth in the division ranking. In his debut fight in the UFC in April 2019, the Azerbaijani in St. Petersburg could not defeat the Russian Magomed Mustafayev (technical knockout). His winning streak is already six fights. In the last one in July 2022, he defeated Rafael dos Anjos from Brazil. Faziev has 12 wins (eight by knockout) and one loss.
Gaethje vs Fiziev Prediction
Analysts of bookmakers consider Fiziev the clear favorite of the upcoming fight. It’s hard to disagree with them. Gaethje, by the way, has never lost a decision in his career. The American does not have any special technique. He will choose some simple tactics – he will get into a fight and will try to break down his opponent. But the Azerbaijani has always loved to win by knockout. Everything goes to the fact that this time the fight will not last the entire distance.