UFC 286 surpasses Joshua and WWE to set money-spinning O2 Arena record

Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman weigh in for UFC 286 title fight

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Company president Dana White has confirmed that UFC 286 was the highest-grossing single-night event in O2 Arena history. The renowned venue was completely sold out with 17,588 tickets shifted and had a staggering gate receipt of £7million.

The numbers surpass multiple massive sports and entertainment events held at the arena including WWE, Drake, Chris Rock and several Anthony Joshua fights. This is thanks in part to the extortionate ticket prices with fees ranging from £344.95 to £4,581.25.

But despite the ongoing financial crisis in the UK, the fans came out in full as they witnessed Leon Edwards defeat Kamaru Usman for a second time to retain his UFC welterweight crown. He is now expected to face Colby Covington next, but Edwards isn’t keen on the match-up.

Speaking during the post-fight press conference, he said: “I don’t know how that makes sense. He hasn’t fought for over a year and a half, sat out, not injured. I don’t get how he slides in for the world title shot when there are other guys in the division that have stayed active and haven’t sat out. I’m the king now, I’ve earned my way so I feel as though I should decide who is next.”

This comes after White affirmed that Edwards’ second defence of his 170lb title would be against Covington. “I don’t know when we will do it but that’s the fight that makes sense. And Colby came here and cut weight and did everything to be here for this fight. Not to mention he is the second or third guy in the world.”

Covington was the alternate for the feature attraction and cut a staggering 18lb to make weight in case Edwards or Usman pulled out. The American was given five minutes of air time by ESPN in the aftermath and was immediately interviewed grabbed for a few words from ringside shortly after Edwards had his hand raised.

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 He said: “I didn’t see anything special. I see a guy [Kamaru Usman] that isn’t hungry anymore,” before adding of Usman: “It looks like he got the title and he made his money, he’s kind of cashed out.”

“Of course, he’s [Leon Edwards] going to get some home-cooking judging. He got his home affair. Now it’s time to come see the man.”

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