Leon Edwards, Kamaru Usman, UFC 286
Leon Edwards (left) successfully defended the UFC welterweight championship against Kamaru Usman (right) at UFC 286 at the O2 Arena in London, England on March 18, 2023. UFC Press Release


  • UFC 286 sets a new gate record for the O2 Arena with $8.5 million
  • Leon Edwards successfully retains his UFC welterweight title
  • Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev headline the post-event bonuses

The UFC remains the most popular mixed martial arts (MMA) organization in the world today despite the number of competitors it has, and the live gate number from UFC 286 marked another feather in their cap.

In a press release sent to the International Business Times, the company confirmed that it had set a new record in the famed O2 Arena in London, England with a gate revenue of £7 million ($8.5 million)–the highest-grossing event in the venue's history.

For context, the O2 Arena has been the place to witness a ton of great events such as Prince's iconic 2007 run of 21 shows, the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, the home of the ATP World Tour Finals from 2009 to 2020, and the historic boxing match between Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall in October 2022.

The sold-out crowd of 17,588 people inside the O2 Arena and the many, many others watching around the world witnessed an exciting night of fights with three post-event awards and a headliner that further solidified Leon Edwards' grip on the welterweight division with a strong win over Kamaru Usman.

Usman was visibly hesitant early on in the bout as Edwards appeared to receive a boost from his hometown crowd as he took control of the striking exchange and even landed a big knee to Usman.

The former welterweight king recovered soon thereafter to land a big takedown and some much-needed ground-and-pound before Edwards recovered.

While the fight was heavily in Edwards' favor, a point was deducted from him in the third round by referee Herb Dean due to a flagrant cage grab–one of many infractions from the Englishman throughout the bout.

The momentum repeatedly swung back and forth with Usman pressuring Edwards with takedown attempts in round five which the 31-year-old stuffed each time, but "The Nigerian Nightmare" did land one later on.

When it was all said and done, it was Edwards who was handed the majority decision (48-46, 48-46, 47-47) to claim the trilogy over Usman and remain atop the UFC welterweight division.

As previously mentioned, three post-event awards were handed out with Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev winning Fight of the Night, while Jake Hadley and Gunnar Nelson earned Performance of the Night.

The four men were awarded $50,000 each for their exploits inside the Octagon and all are well-deserved.

UFC 286 was a major success for the company on both the business and sports side of things.

The Las Vegas-based organization will be happy to provide fans with another solid card on Sunday, March 26 by way of the Marlon Vera vs. Cory Sandhagen-headlined UFC on ESPN 43.

Justin Gaethje, Rafael Fiziev, UFC
Justin Gaethje (left) battled Rafael Fiziev (right) was awarded UFC 286's Fight of the Night. UFC Press Release