It has been a long time since the UFC brought a Pay-Per-View event to the rowdy streets of London. UFC 85, aptly named “Bedlam,” was nearly 15 years ago in June 2008. Now, the UFC returns with a blockbuster event tailor-made for the raucous U.K. fans. Besides back-and-forth action, the UFC lines have plenty of hard-hitting props to bet.
Herbert Outpoints Klein
Jai Herbert (12-4-0) will get things started for the local fighters as he takes on Ludovit Klein (19-4-0). Despite being the underdog on the UFC odds, Herbert is the better kickboxer and has a solid chance to outstrike and edge his Slovakian counterpart. At 4-1, it’s worth a dart throw that Herbert’s frail chin holds up enough to open the card with a win for the “home team.”
- Pick: Herbert By Points +400
Duncan Debuts in Style Against Todorovic
Also representing England is Christian Leroy Duncan (7-0-0), who is ready to debut in explosive fashion against Dusko Todorovic (12-3-0). Unlike Herbert, Leroy Duncan is expected to win this bout as a -230 favorite by the sportsbook. He should make quick work of Todorovic, who has been lit up in many of his past fights.
- Pick: CL Duncan By KO/TKO/DQ and Round 1 +350
Duncan, Morales Brawl To The Final Bell
Another Duncan, Chris (9-1-0), makes his UFC debut from Scotland. He’s in for a scrap against Venezuela’s Omar Morales (11-3-0). This fight should go back and forth like the UFC picks and the pick’em betting lines. The odds also indicate a finish here, but both Duncan and Morales are durable fellows and should fight to the end.
- Pick: Fight To Go The Distance – Yes (+180)
Shore To Outlast Amirkhani
Wales’s own Jack Shore (16-1-0) is expected to dominate Makwan Amirkhani (17-8-0) as a -515 favorite in Las Vegas’s UFC odds. This line is a bit too wide as Amirkhani is dangerous, especially early in the fight. But Shore should manage his early onslaught and break him as the fight goes.
- Pick: Shore By KO, TKO, DQ or Submission -110
Nelson Exploits Barbarena’s Weakness
Gunnar Nelson (18-5-1) has a favorable matchup against Bryan Barberena (18-9-0). It’s why he’s a -370 favorite and why he’s likely to submit his fellow veteran. Barberena’s weakness to grappling was exposed by Rafael dos Anjos in their recent fight, and Nelson is a crafty Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner that will catch Barberena early and finish him.
- Pick: Nelson By Submission and Round 1 +325
Gunnar Nelson is among the action at #UFC286.
A crafty crafty man on his day, and still only 34. #MMA | #UFC
— Lewis Simpson (@LewisSimpsonMMA) March 15, 2023
Fiziev, Gaethje Go The Distance
Despite all their trash talk, both Justin Gaethje (23-4-0) and Rafael Fiziev (12-1-0) know there is too much at stake to be recklessly charging at each other. Instead, this will be a technical brawl that could go all the way to the final bell despite what the UFC odds expect. At the least, this fight goes past the halfway mark but +185 is juicy enough to bet.
- Pick: To Go The Distance +185
Edwards Outdoes Usman in a Tactical War
Speaking of a technical fight, Leon Edwards (20-3-0) and Kamaru Usman (20-2-0) will be in a 25-minute chess match. Edwards made shocking UFC news with his last-minute KO win over Usman before.
The former champ won’t be quite as prone to that now and maybe more guarded than ever. Edwards will finish Usman if he sees the opportunity. But despite his thrilling knockouts, eight of his 12 UFC victories have come via a decision.
- Pick: Edwards By Decision or Technical Decision +450
UFC 286 Fight Information
- Date: Saturday, March 18, 1 p.m. ET
- Venue: O2 Arena, London, England
- Watch on: Pay-Per-View, ESPN, UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+