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UFC 286 Picks & Preview: Kamaru Usman Vies for Title vs. Leon Edwards




UFC 286 Picks & Preview: Kamaru Usman Vies for Title vs. Leon Edwards

The UFC will be live from The O2 Arena in London for UFC 286. The main card will air on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+. The main event will feature a welterweight fight: Leon Edwards defending his title in a rematch against Kamaru Usman. In the co-main event, Justin Gaethje faces off in a lightweight bout against Rafael Fiziev. Below are some of the best MMA DFS picks with the help of Stokastic’s UFC DFS projections. Let’s see what is on tap for UFC 286.

UFC 286 Picks: Leon Edwards-Kamaru Usman Picks

Chris Duncan $8,700 vs. Omar Morales $8,200

Chris Duncan

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5-foot-8
  • Weight: 155 lbs.
  • Reach: 71.5 ins.
  • Record: 9-1-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 59%
  • Betting Odds: -110

Chris Duncan is making his UFC debut after a spectacular knockout over Charlie Campbell on the Contender Series; he was rocked early but then out of nowhere was able to knock Campbell out. This is a favorable matchup for the DWCS alum, and he should have no problem making a statement in his debut with a powerful knockout over Omar Morales. Expect a slugfest and Duncan to be the more aggressive fighter, walking Morales down and finding an early finish.

Omar Morales

  • Age: 37
  • Height: 5-foot-9
  • Weight: 155 lbs.
  • Reach: 73 ins.
  • Record: 11-1-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 47%
  • Betting Odds: -110

Omar Morales is coming off back-to-back losses, one via knockout and one via submission. He is a powerful kickboxer who tends to fight with low volume. Morales will need to rely on his wrestling and secure takedowns early to exploit any weakness in Duncan’s ground game. If Morales cannot implement his wresting, then expect the fading Morales to get tagged early and often on his way to his third consecutive loss.

The pick on DraftKings and FanDuel is Duncan. His overhand right, power, striking and aggressiveness will be too much Morales to overcome. According to Stokastic’s UFC DFS projections Chris Duncan has 64.9% win odds and a 43.9% chance for a knockout.

UFC DFS Pick: Chris Duncan via First-Round KO/TKO

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Marvin Vettori $9,100 vs. Roman Dolidze $7,100

Marvin Vettori

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6-foot-0
  • Weight: 186 lbs.
  • Reach: 74 ins.
  • Record: 18-6-1
  • Striking Accuracy: 52%
  • Betting Odds: -290

Marvin Vettori comes into this fight after suffering another loss at the top of the division, and now he will face a rising contender in Roman Dolidze. This fight will answer whether Vettori still belongs in the UFC. In his last three fights, Vettori is 1-2, losing to Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker. Dolidze is going to be a tough test for Vettori, but he should handle business and get back in the win column. Vettori is the more skilled fighter and should look to keep this fight standing while trying to drain the gas tank of Dolidze with heavy clinch work. Expect Vettori to press forward, looking to throw heavy strikes to get Dolidze out early.

Roman Dolidze

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Reach: 76 ins.
  • Record: 12-1-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 60%
  • Betting Odds: +225

Roman Dolidze is currently riding a four-fight winning streak, with three coming via knockout and one via decision. The tough test for Dolidze was on full display in his last three fights, as he finished respected middleweights Jack Hermansson, Phil Hawes and Kyle Daukaus, all via knockout. He is starting to be a huge problem for the division, showing such dominance in recent bouts, and a win over Vettori could raise his stock even more in the middleweight division. Expect Dolidze to press forward, landing heavy strikes while looking to get Vettori to the canvas to grind out a decision.

The pick on DraftKings and FanDuel is Vettori. His power, cardio, durability and wrestling should get the job done against Dolidze. Stokastic’s UFC DFS projections Marvin Vettori 71.4% win odds.

UFC DFS Pick: Marvin Vettori via Unanimous Decision

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Justin Gaethje $7,400 vs. Rafael Fiziev $8,800

Justin Gaethje

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5-foot-11
  • Weight: 155 lbs.
  • Reach: 70 ins.
  • Record: 23-4-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 61%
  • Betting Odds: +186

Justin Gaethje is an absolute animal inside the Octagon. He is always pressing forward with high guard and throwing damaging leg kicks. The pace Gaethje brings is insane, blitzing his opponent with heavy pressure. Furthermore, Gaethje has incredible stopping power in his hands, as he will take big shots just to be able to counterstrike. Gaethje was an All-American wrestler in college, but for now he does not seem interested in making wrestling part of his game. He is 1-2 in his last three fights, and both losses have come via submission at the hands of Charles Oliveira and Khabib Nurmagomedov. The one weakness with Gaethje’s style is he takes a ton of damage — roughly eight significant strikes per minute. Expect Gaethje to push the pace and bring heavy pressure with power striking, and if he leaves an opening for Fiziev, then Gaethje could find himself getting knocked out.

Rafael Fiziev

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5-foot-5
  • Weight: 155 lbs.
  • Reach: 71 ins.
  • Record: 12-1-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 52%
  • Betting Odds: -235

Rafael Fiziev is currently riding a six-fight winning streak, with three coming via knockout and three via decision. He has performed exceptionally to earn this fight, and Fiziev should put on a show. His power, speed and offensive awareness may be too much for Gaethje to handle after the recent damage he has endured. Fiziev will use his brutal body work and dangerous kicking range to get Gaethje out early.

The pick on DraftKings and FanDuel is Fiziev. His power, timing, technical boxing and heavy pressure should get the job done. Stokastic’s MMA DFS projections give Rafael Fiziev 67.4% win odds and a 40.2% chance for a knockout.

UFC DFS Pick: Rafael Fiziev via Third-Round KO/TKO

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Leon Edwards $7,300 vs. Kamaru Usman $8,900

Leon Edwards

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 170 lbs.
  • Reach: 74 ins.
  • Record: 20-3-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 58%
  • Betting Odds: +198

Leon Edwards has won 10 fights in a row, most recently a wild fifth-round head kick knockout over Kamaru Usman and a unanimous decision victory over Nate Diaz in June. Edward’s has impressive victories over Rafael dos Anjos and Vincent Luque. He is a well-rounded fighter with technical kickboxing, striking, wrestling and excellent clinch work. In their last meeting, Edwards was losing the fight and Usman was using his slick and powerful striking game effectively. Expect more work on the feet and from the clinch from Edwards in an attempt to wear on Usman early.

Kamaru Usman

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 6-foot-0
  • Weight: 170 lbs.
  • Reach: 76 ins.
  • Record: 20-2-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 65%
  • Betting Odds: -250

Kamaru Usman is coming off a disappointing loss to Edwards in his last time out. He is a wrestling specialist with a gas tank that never runs empty. Usman showed off his crisp boxing against Edwards, and he was way ahead on the score cards. All the work he has put in with renowned boxing coach Trevor Wittman has paid off nicely. Expect Usman to rely on his striking, volume, power and durability on his way to reclaiming the welterweight title from Edwards.

The pick on DraftKings and FanDuel is Usman, whose athleticism, timing, footwork, technical striking and ability to read his opponent will seal the victory. Stokastic’s MMA DFS projections Kamaru Usman 68.5% win odds.

UFC DFS Pick: Kamaru Usman via Unanimous Decision

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