UFC Returns To The O2 Arena! UFC 286 Preview.

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The UFC returns to the O2 Arena for UFC 286 Edwards Vs Usman 3. This is the place where, last August, Leon Edwards shocked the world. Going into the 5th round Edwards knew he needed a knockout to leave UFC 278 with the belt. Edwards did exactly that shocking the #1 PFP fighter with this head kick.

He will have the entire O2 arena behind him, which can either add to the pressure or push you the extra bit to pull off the upset win. We all know the O2 arena is known for being rowdy and electric. Last year they took it to a new level when Paddy The Baddy made his hometown debut.

Paddy The Baddy Walk Out

UFC 286 features high-powered fights, but the names might not stick out on paper. Every time the UFC goes to the O2 arenas the fights never fail to deliver.

2023 UFC Betting Stats

2 weeks ago I gave out my UFC 285 Preview along with my bet slip. Here’s how it went.

  1. Derek Brunson +190 (1U), Fight Goes Distance +165 (1U) (0-2)
  2. Jalin Turner +170 (1U) (0-1)
  3. Shavkat by Submission +175 (1.5U), Shavkat in 2nd Round +430 (.25U) (1-1)
  4. Valentina Wins By KO +230 (1U), 2nd Round KO +900 (.25U) (0-2)
  5. Jon Jones -155 (2U), By Decision +175 (1U) (1-1)
  6. Parlay: Jon Jones ML + Valentina KO + Shavkat Submission +1350 (.25U) (0-1)

Let’s just say things didn’t go exactly as planned. We hit the ones we needed, but we literally talked about how I always jinx girl fights. What an upset that was. We may have gone 2-8, but we hit the two biggest unit bets… the only thing that saved us.

  • Units Bet:-9.25, Units Won: 7.5
  • UFC 285 +/-, -1.75 Units

UFC 286 PreviewRoman Dolidze

Match 5: #4 Marvin Vettori (-265) VS #9 Roman Dolidze (+225)

Marvin Vettori kicks off UFC 286 against 12-1 Roman Dolidze. TBH – I have never seen Roman Dolidze fight, but he’s 6-1 since joining the UFC including knockouts in his last three fights (all in 2022). Vettori on the other hand is trying to make his climb back to a UFC title fight. In 2021, he had his chance against Adesanya but lost via unanimous decision.

This is hard because I know nothing about Roman, which is making me want to take him. Vettori is coming off a loss to Robert Whittaker, which went the distance as has 10/12 of his fights. +225 on a guy coming off a year where he knocked out all three of his opponents? Seems like great value to me.

Prediction: Roman Wins Via 2nd Round KO

Best Bet: Roman ML (+220)

Match 4: #8 Jennifer Maia (+150) VS #12 Casey O’Neill (-175)

A girl’s flyweight bout may be the fight that puts you to bed during this PPV. That is unless Casey O’Neill decided to end this fight within the distance because everyone knows Maia sure as hell ain’t. In her 10 UFC fights, only one has been decided inside the distance. I actually can’t stand watching her fight so I’ll be riding with the 9-0, 25-year-old.

She wants to fight on this card and she will beat Jennifer Maia this weekend with 0 problems to be had.

Prediction: O’Neill moves her record to 10-0 with an easy victory over Maia. My only question is will she be able to finish her inside the distance?

Best Bet: O’Neill To Win Inside Distance (+340). Also, sprinkle 2nd Round Finish (+2100 KO), (+2900 Submission).

Match 3: Gunnar Nelson (-380) VS Bryan Barberena (+310)

Gunnar Nelson may be in his 11th year in the UFC, but he’s still 34 and in perfect condition to make run at earning himself another title shot. Unfortunately, his scheduled opponent Daniel Rodriguez had to pull out this week due to an unknown reason. This is unfortunate for Nelson who was looking to book another good win on his resume after taking a 2-year break before his victory last year.

Barberena (9-7 In UFC) on the other hand has the perfect opportunity to step into a big fight, on a big card and avenge his 2nd round submission loss this past December. He was on his best run yet before getting handed that loss. With a short-notice underdog win this weekend, Barberena could instantly find himself in an important fight later this year.

Prediction: Gunnar Nelson wins this fight if he can take it to the ground… Barberena has a chance in this fight but only if he can KO Nelson. I think Nelson wins this fight via decision.

Best Bet: Nelson Via Decision (+220), Barberena Via KO (+550)..

Match 2: #3 Justin Gaethje (+195) VS Rafael Fiziev (-230)

The co-main event may be the fight of the card. Why? His name is Justin Gaethje. I don’t give a fuck who he’s facing or what the odds are I’m riding with Gaethje simply because he’s that mother fucker. Not many fighters are on my “that mother fucker list”…

Nate Diaz, Michael Chandler, and Justin Gaethje. That might be it.

Why are those 3 on the list? Because they will fight anyone, anywhere, anytime. They don’t talk just to talk. Winning is obviously their #1 goal, but competing against the best talent and putting on a show always seems to happen when those 3 step in the ring.

Who Is Rafael Fiziev?

Rafael Fiziev has been in the UFC since 2019 and holds a career MMA record of 12-1. He finds himself on a 6 fight win streak but hasn’t stepped into the octagon since 8/7/2021 where he defeated UFC vet, Bobby Green. 8/12 MMA wins have come via KO, so this should stay on its feet and could end at any second.

Prediction: I know everyone will be riding Gaethje at +195, and I don’t really see how he is a 2/1 dog. I think he can win this fight via decision (+750), but I’ll always be predicting a Gaethje KO win anytime he steps into the ring.

Best Bet: Justin Gaethje +195, Sprinkle Round 1 KO +700

Match 1: (C) Leon Edwards (+195) VS #1 Kamaru Usman (-230) III

The rubber match of this rivalry takes place this weekend, and all the fans in the O2 Arena will be behind Leon Edwards. Unfortunately for them, I don’t think this fight will be close, with Usman winning avenging his loss with a quick KO.

I’ve seen this story too many times. Usman was dominating their fight last August in the first 4 rounds. He got sloppy and all it took was one head kick and the PFP #1 fighter found himself going home without the belt. What happens next? They get their rematch and he doesn’t play with his food this time and sends a message this division still runs through him.

Usman is +310 to finish this fight via KO which I will 100% be betting on. He also will finish him within the first three rounds.

Odds To Win Via KO For Usman (Each Round)

  • Round 1: +1200
  • Round 2: +1400
  • Round 3: +1800
  • Round 4: +2400
  • Round 5: +3000

I’m thinking the 2nd round is when it happens. Will have some amount of units on each of the first three rounds but my gut says it happens in rounds 2/3.

Expect the results this weekend to look something like this…

Except the ref might break it up before Usman gets that last blow in. Perfect ending to UFC 286.

Prediction: Usman Wins Via TKO late in Round 2. (+1400)

Best Bet: Usman Via KO (+310)

UFC 286

If these fights don’t deliver finishes, this may wind up being one of the more boring PPV cards of the year. The 02 arena always seems to bring finishes with every fight, and let’s hope we get the same results this weekend.

Betting Card: UFC 286

  1. Roman Dolidze +225 (1U)
  2. Gunnar Nelson Via Decision +220 (1U), Barberena KO +550 (.5U)
  3. Casey O’Neill Win Inside Distance +340 (1U), 2nd Round KO/Submission (.25U).
  4. Justin Gaethje +195 (1U)
  5. Usman Via KO +310 (1.5U), 1st Round KO +1200 (.2U), 2nd Round KO +1400 (.5U), 3rd Round KO +1800 (.3U)
  6. Usman KO +310, Casey O’Neill Inside Distance +340, Gunnar Nelson Decision Parlay +220Parlay Odds +5672 (.25U)

TOTAL UNITS BET: 7 (As Of 3/15)