Just when we thought that the UFC 286 card couldn’t get any better, Uncle Dana drops new bombshell news on more upcoming high-voltage bouts. The 3rd faceoff between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards has finally been confirmed and the clash of the heavy hitter, Rafael Fiziev and Justin Gaethje has also been confirmed.
Earlier the Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards fight was in a very uncertain state. Usman was seen moving around with a hand injury which lead many to believe that he might not be able to fight on the dew date. Leon was seen casually moving around in a lot of locations and events, further adding fire to the speculation.
On the other hand, Rafael ‘Ataman’ Fiziev has been smashing pretty much the entire lightweight division clean. He picked up dominating wins against the likes of Renato Moicano, Brad Ridell, Rafael Dos Anjos, and Bobby Green. Many veteran fighters started passing on fighting the young blood.
Fiziev himself was well aware of his heavy hitter reputation and wanted to duke it out with another heavy hitter, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gatghje. Unfortunately, Justin went on a hiatus after his loss to Charles ‘Do Brons’ Oliveira, and the fight could not be made. Rafael called out his target many times but seemingly to no avail.
How did the fights come to be?
Leon recently talked about his fight against the former champion saying, “Yeah, 100 percent, that’s what I’ve been told, that’s what my team has been told. I spoke to the UFC last week, I think, and they said, ‘The fight’s on, he’s already training for the fight.’ I am aiming toward that, and if anything changes in the meantime, we’ll go from there. But now I’m focused on the trilogy with Usman in London.”
On the other hand, Rafael also claimed that the fight against Gaethje was happening, “I’m not announcing anything, but the UFC promised us that I’ll be fighting Justin Gaethje in March. Everyone wants this fight, Dana White wants this fight. I was told to get ready for March.”
Finally, Dana White confirmed all rumors at the UFC Vegas 67 presser, after booking both fights for the UFC 286 card.