UFC London 2023: UFC 286 announced at London's O2 Arena on March 18

BT Sport will have exclusive coverage of UFC 286 from the iconic O2 Arena, featuring the first world title fight on British soil since 2016.

By George Mills Published: 7 December 2022 - 3.38pm

Oh baby! The UFC returns to London with an absolute treat in store for British fight fans, bringing a world title showdown to the iconic O2 Arena after confirming UFC 286 will take place on March 18.

Tickets for the UFC’s annual trip to the British capital have become like gold dust in recent years with the 02 Arena, the promotion’s home away from home in Greenwich, east London, often selling out in record time.

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Given the prestige of the card expected to be announced at UFC 286, interest in securing a seat inside the 20,000 capacity arena is likely to exceed anything we’ve seen in years gone by.

Fans are being encouraged to visit UFC.com and sign up to register their interest in UFC 286 early to gain priority access to the first wave of tickets when they are released in the new year.

UFC Fight Club members will be able to purchase tickets at 10am on Wednesday 25 January while those who registered their interest early will have access to the ticket portal from 10am on Thursday 26 January.

The remainder of tickets will on general sale at 10am on Friday 27 January through AXS and Ticketmaster.

“I can’t wait to show you guys what we have in store for you next year”
- Dana White

UFC 286 will be just the second time a numbered card has been held on this side of the pond, following on from UFC 204: Bisping vs Henderson 2 in October 2016.

Unlike that night in Manchester, when the prelims began at 11pm local time and the main event around 4.30am, UFC 286 will take place at primetime in the UK.

UFC President Dana White said: “Everyone knows how much I love our fans in the UK. We had two incredible shows in London in 2022, and this time we’re bringing a world title fight with the biggest and baddest card we could put together at The O2 on March 18. 

“The UK MMA scene is exploding with talent right now and I can’t wait to show you guys what we have in store for you next year.”

Full fight card details will be released in due course but the main event is widely expected to see the trilogy completed when welterweight champion Leon Edwards rematches Kamaru Usman for the 170lb strap.

Edwards shocked the world when he stopped the “Nigerian Nightmare” in stunning fashion back at UFC 278 in the summer, securing a fifth-round knockout with a head-kick that will forever be etched in UFC folklore.

Now tied at 1-1 in the rivalry, Edwards will be out to prove that victory was no fluke when he takes on the 20-2 Usman once again.

London has become the place where British MMA superstars are born in recent times with the likes of Tom Aspinall, Paddy Pimblett, Arnold Allen and Molly McCann all becoming household names thanks to their exploits in the Octagon on home soil.

With another monster card promised in March, the chances are we could see another superstar announce themselves to the world in front of the best fans on earth.

Visit UFC.com for more details on today’s announcement and to sign up for UFC 286 ticket alerts.