The UFC has confirmed that they'll be returning to the O2 Arena in London, England for UFC 286.
As highlighted via the promotion's official social media handles, the UFC 286 event is indeed scheduled to take place at the O2 Arena in London, England on March 18th, 2023. A post put forth by the UFC Europe Instagram account regarding the same reads as follows:
"It's happening! We're taking #UFC286 to London and it's going to be a big one! 🇬🇧 Register now for early access to tickets 🎟️ UFC.com/london"
The upcoming UFC 286 fight card will be the organization's first numbered event to take place in the UK since UFC 204. The rematch between then-UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson headlined the event at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, on October 8th, 2016.
Speaking of which, in the 2022 calendar year, the UFC organized a pair of incredibly successful Fight Night events in the UK. These events were namely the promotion's UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Aspinall card on March 19th, 2022, followed by the UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Aspinall event on July 23rd, 2022.
Both aforementioned events transpired at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Furthermore, as of this time, no fights have been officially announced for the UFC 286 event that'll take place at the O2 Arena on March 18th, 2023.
Could Kamaru Usman's highly-anticipated trilogy fight with Leon Edwards headline UFC 286?
It's believed that the UFC could book some of its most popular UK stars such as reigning UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards, lightweight superstar Paddy Pimblett, women's flyweight fan-favorite Molly McCann, and others for UFC 286.
While no fighter has been confirmed for the event yet, earlier this year, UFC president Dana White hinted that Edwards could face longtime rival Kamaru Usman in the UK in early 2023.
Watch White discuss a possible Edwards-Usman UK clash below:
Similarly, former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who lost his belt in a rematch against Leon Edwards this August, hinted at facing 'Rocky' in a trilogy matchup in the UK next. Speaking to TMZ Sports, 'The Nigerian Nightmare' expressed interest in fighting in Edwards' native UK and stated:
"We're going to see what date makes sense. It's going to be top of next year and I want to go to England. I've been feeding to go to England, I feel like England is my second home. England is half-Africa. So, it's time to go over there and entertain my English people, and what better story? I mean you couldn't write this any better. I am excited to see what's next and we will definitely figure something out."
Watch Usman's interview below: