UFC is officially returning to London to hold UFC 286. The upcoming event will be headlined by a welterweight title bout between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman.
UFC recently announced its return to London in March 2023 and will take place at the O2 Arena. This will be the third time the UFC holds an event in the capital of England. Back in June, they held UFC FN 208 there. While the other one was back in 2010 at UFC 210.
This official announcement surely hypes MMA fans in England. The tickets will be available for sale in January via AXS and Ticketmaster. However, the UFC hasn’t announced any matchups yet. But, it is likely that a trilogy between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman will headline the event.
Edwards pulled an upset in August when he knocked out Usman in the last minute of the fifth round, becoming the second Englishman to become a UFC champion after Michael Bisping. Since then, fans have been demanding an immediate rematch between them, and Edwards also demanded it to be held in his home country. UFC president Dana White himself was also keen to book the rematch in London.
White told press including calfkicker media couple months ago:
“We can go to England whatever the hll we want to now. And we could go to England… we were selling out England before. Now you just start looking at you know, do you do a bigger arena do you go and I’m scared to go outside and I’m definitely scared to go outside and England.”
“So I’m joking about and serious but joking about Wembley. But yeah, I mean, anything is possible in England now.”
White reiterated: “It would be fun. But yet scary at the same time. The weather isn’t the greatest over there in England. “
As for the rest of the card, there has been nothing but rumors and speculations. But, we can be sure that the UFC will feature several UFC stars from England. Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann are likely to be featured. The pair have become a center of attention and have that star power, especially Pimblett who is currently still undefeated.
Rising talent Muhammad Mokaev might also be included there. The Russian-born English proudly represented England. The 22-year-old is currently undefeated with a total of 9 wins.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) December 7, 2022
O2 arena seats only 20,000 viewers whereas a stadium like Wembley has a capacity of 90,000.