UFC 286 Fight Card: Justin Gaethje vs Rafael Fiziev Among Top Undercard Fights to Watch From London

The homecoming celebration of UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards continues Saturday night. The Brit will defend his new title on home soil in a trilogy match against Kamaru Usman at UFC 286. Before the rivals pick up where they left off, Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev are expected to blast the roof of the O2 Arena in London. England.

Edwards and Gaethje – CBS Sports Knockout of the year 2022 And 2021 Fight of the Year recipient, respectively – occupy the red corner on Saturday night. UFC 286 might not be the deepest card of the year, but the double-winning combination of home hero and global fan favorite is sure to make for an electrifying scene in London.

The trend towards European fighters and dynamic finishers runs through every segment of UFC 286, from the main pay-per-view card to the early prelims.

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Let’s take a look at the top three fights to watch beyond Edwards vs Usman 3.

Justin Gaethje vs Rafael Fiziev

Every Gaethje fight is a fight to watch and this one is no different. Gaethje is arguably the greatest action fighter in mixed martial arts and he has the bonus checks to prove it. Gaethje has redeemed 10 post-fight bonuses – six Fight of the Nights and four Performance of the Nights – in as many UFC appearances. Fiziev is a reliable bonus hunter himself with five bonuses in seven UFC fights. Gaethje needs to get back on track after falling short in two of his last three UFC lightweight title fights against Charles Oliveira and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Fellow KO artist Fiziev is on a six-fight win streak, stopping Rafael dos Anjos with punches and Brad Riddell with a spinning wheel kick. Gaethje has cleaned up his fighting style to become a more technical Terminator, but the defensive gaps hold up against the highest opponents. Fiziev is technically sound but Gaethje is by far the toughest fight of his career. Expect violence, lots of it.

Marvin Vettori vs. Roman Doldize

The middleweight division could have an intriguing top contender on their hands. Dolidze started late in MMA and has exceeded expectations almost at every turn. Dolidze began training in MMA at 28 after extensive exposure and made his professional heavyweight debut. Now a middleweight with a 6-1 UFC record, Dolidze has found reliable power with his punches. Dolidze earned performance bonuses in his last three fights by stopping Jack Hermansson, Phil Hawes and Kyle Daukus. Vettori is in limbo after losing to former middleweight champions Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker but can begin to rebuild with a strong performance on Saturday. Should Dolidze beat Vettori, he can challenge the very best at 185.

Jack Shore vs Makwan Amirkhani

Grappling fans should sit here. Shore was emerging as one of the most exciting up-and-coming bantamweight talents. That all changed when Ricky Simon pressed his head for submission. Shore, who hails from Wales, is hanging for his life on the fringes of the UFC top 15 bantamweight division, but he changes fortunes with a magnificent display against 25-fight veteran Amirkhani. Amirkhani is aging and has lost four of his last five fights, but Shore’s KO power has yet to materialize in the UFC. Shore should win this fight but Amirkhani can make things interesting on the ground.

recognitions: Muhammad Mokaev vs. Jafel Filho, Jai Herbert vs. L’udovit Klein, Gunnar Nelson vs. Bryan Barberena

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