Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman make weight, with both men tipping scales at 170-pound welterweight limit for UFC 286 in London… meaning Colby Covington will NOT be needed after surprise appearance as back-up
- Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards both tipped the scales at 170 on Friday
- Colby Covington made surprise appearance as reserve but won’t be needed
- EXPLAINER: Everything you need to know ahead of this Saturday’s huge event
UFC 286 in London is primed and ready to go, with Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman both making weight on Friday morning.
The British champ took his time, waiting until about 40 minutes after the weigh-ins started but looked energised as he swiftly walked onto stage to hit the welterweight limit.
Usman was first out, clearly keen to rehydrate and recover ahead of Saturday night’s massive showdown at the O2 Arena.
The only fighter not to make weight at the first ask was Malcolm Gordon, who came in three pounds over the limit.
At time of writing negotiations with his opponent Jake Hadley were taking place to see if the bout would go ahead, or if Gordon would still want another crack at making the flyweight limit.
Leon Edwards made weight for UFC 286 in London and the main event is good to go
Usman and Edwards will square off one final time on Friday before the fight on Saturday
The major surprise of the morning was Colby Covington’s appearance.
There had been unconfirmed reports of his presence in a nearby hotel and he weighed in as the main event back-up.
No doubt he was well taken care of by the UFC for his trip across the pond but he won’t be lacing up the gloves this weekend.
He will, however, be in attendance in the crowd, perhaps preparing to call out the winner, although he doesn’t have a particularly strong case.
The UFC wisely kept ‘Chaos’ away from the fighter hotel to avoid run-ins with Edwards and Usman, who both have history with the controversial American.
Edwards and Usman are consummate professionals and it was always unlikely that they’d trip over this hurdle.
Making weight can be a tricky and at times dangerous business but the UFC have nutrition experts at the fighter’s disposal and many athletes have it down to a fine art.
It can be tempting to play body language expert and Edwards, who remains an underdog with bookmakers, did look strong on the scales when plenty seem drained.
Colby Covington weighed in on the limit but will not be needed on Saturday night
‘Rocky’ is primed and ready to go for the main event and his first welterweight title defence
Every fighter on the card has a two hour window to make weight but there was nobody left to come within an hour of the start, with Gordon the anomaly missing his mark.
Edwards and Usman will come face-to-face for a final time this afternoon at the ceremonial weigh-ins.
They’ll look far bigger than they did this morning and have a packed crowd at the O2 Arena, a precursor to the capacity one on Saturday.
The fighters and the UFC can now breath easy that the biggest event in UK MMA history is good to go.
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