UFC 286 promises to settle the rivalry between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman with a trilogy bout. The competitors have fought twice previously with both winning one fight each. On March 18, they will fight once more with the welterweight title on the line. However, in a shocking move to many, former UFC interim welterweight champ Colby Covington is present as the backup.
Fans have not seen Colby Covington too much since his UFC 272 bout against Jorge Masvidal. He has maintained a low profile after his alleged steakhouse confrontation with Jorge Masvidal in March 2022. But, he made his triumphant return to the limelight during the official weigh-in for UFC 286. During the press conference for the UK PPV, both Leon and Kamaru were asked about Colby being a backup fighter.
However, both fighters unanimously revealed that they were not aware of Colby’s involvement in the event. But the fans got their answer as Colby came out to weigh in as the backup fighter for the main event. He was extremely discreet leading up to the process and made the weight without any issues. The Chaos was uncharacteristically quiet after weighing in.
Both Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman make weight for UFC 286
The UFC 286 weigh-ins went smoothly with only one fighter not making weight for the event. Interestingly, it was Leon Edwards who was the last fighter to make the weight. Although there were still around one and a half hours left on the clock, everybody else had made weight by then. With Colby Covington present inside the building, fans were extremely worried about Leon’s weight.
Recently, UFC fans saw some big-name fighters not making the weight limit for their fights. At UFC 279, the main event had to be changed at the last second after Chimaev missed weight by 7.5 lbs. Prior to that, at UFC 274, Charles Oliveira was stripped of his lightweight title for missing weight by 0.5 lbs. Hence, the concerns from the UK fans were justified, as they were eager to see one of their own fight on a major PPV card.
But fortunately, Leon Edwards made weight as he came in at exactly 170 lbs. His opponent, Kamaru Usman, also came in at 170 lbs. It makes the main event for this Saturday official. However, there are speculations about Leon’s health due to his late weigh-in and the presence of Colby Covington.
Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev, who are fighting in the co-main, came in at 156 lbs. Gunnar Nelson weighed in at 170 lbs and his opponent, Bryan Barberena came in at 171 lbs. Women’s flyweight fighters Casey O’Neill and Jennifer Maia both weighed in at 125 lbs. Marvin Vettori and Roman Dolidze, who will kick off the main card, weighed in at 185.5 lbs and 186 lbs respectively.
Malcolm Gordon is the only fighter to not make weight. He weighed in at 129.5 lbs for his flyweight bout against Jake Hadley (126 lbs).