Edwards vs Usman trilogy official for UFC 286 in London on March 18

Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman trilogy official for UFC 286 in London on March 18… 31-year-old will make the first defense of his UFC Welterweight Championship on home soil after capturing the belt with a head kick KO last year

  • Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman III will headline the UFC’s UK return in March
  • Edwards became second-ever British UFC champion defeating Usman last year
  • UFC 286 will mark the promotion’s first pay per view from the UK since 2016
  • Lightweight contenders Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev will serve as co-main

A bout between Leon Edwards will face Kamaru Usman will headline the UFC 286 event in London on March 18, the promotion has confirmed.

Edwards became just the second-ever British UFC champion when he dethroned Usman in spectacular fashion back in August, after entering the fifth and final round down on all three judges’ scorecards.

Since then neither man has returned to the Octagon, with fans fearing the trilogy bout would not come to fruition at the London card after Usman was spotted at a regional MMA event just weeks ago donning a cast on his left hand.

Welterweight king Leon Edwards will headline UFC 286 in the UK in a trilogy bout with former champion Kamaru Usman

Edwards dramatically dethroned Usman with a come-from-behind head kick win back in August

But following the UFC’s return to action on Saturday night, Dana White confirmed that the bout will go ahead as planned as the headline attraction at the O2 arena.

White also confirmed that the promotion’s first pay-per-view offering to be hosted in the UK since 2016’s UFC 204 will be co-headlined by a lightweight bout between rising contender Rafael Fiziev and former interim champion, fan favourite Justin Gaethje.

The event will also showcase a battle between rising British talents in the featherweight division as former Cage Warriors champion Nathaniel Wood takes on undefeated KO-artist Lerone Murphy.

Paddy Pimblett has quickly emerged as one of the main attractions in the UFC’s last two trips to the UK, with the Scouse featherweight collecting stoppage victories over Rodrigo Vargas and Jordan Leavitt in March and July of last year respectively.

Justin Gaethje(left) will take on Rafael Fiziev(right) in the co-main event of the pay-per-view

However, despite continuing his undefeated start to his UFC career with a win over Jarden Gordon in December, Pimblett faced criticism that he had benefited from a questionable decision from the judges.

Pimblett had previously stated that he believes the O2 Arena is ‘too small’ for him, and when asked after his win over Gordon if he expected to be on the London card, told reporters that he wasn’t sure whether he would be involved. 

‘I’m not just a fighter now lad I’m a businessman. I’ve got a few businesses that I’ve opened up and a few things that I’ve invested in. So I’m not just a fighter now, I’ve gotta worry about so many investments. I don’t know, we’ll see.’

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