UFC 278 this weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah may not be the double-title feature that fight fans have become accustomed to, but it is stacked nonetheless. Headlining the evening is the top pound-for-pound fighter, Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” as he looks to defend his welterweight title against No.2 challenger Leon “Rocky” Edwards. In the co-main event, No.6 ranked middleweight Paulo Costa is a heavy favorite to fend off unranked Luke Rockhold. Since facing Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title in 2020, Costa lost to Marvin Vettori and now hopes to keep his place lingering around the division’s top five.
There are ranked bouts across the card at UFC 278 from the early preliminaries to the main event, and notably in the featured fight of the main card. No.3 bantamweight José Aldo faces No.6 Merab Dvalishvili in a bout that can be big for both fighters. Dvalishvili told the media this week that he was shocked Aldo agreed to the fight questioning if he himself had earned the challenge. Elsewhere on the card, No.11 heavyweight Marcin Tybura and No.11 flyweight Amir Alabazi both hope a strong victory can land them in the top 10.
Main Event Preview: Usman vs Edwards 2
When you’ve been winning in the UFC as long as Kamaru Usman, and especially as a champion, rematches aren’t uncommon. Usman and Edwards last fought in 2015, and both fighters have been working toward this moment since then.
The victor of that initial meeting, Usman went on to continue what has become a 15-fight winning streak in the UFC. In 2019, he took the division belt from Tyron Woodley and has defended it five times. Since surpassing Jon Jones as the top pound-for-pound athlete in the organization, only history is left for him to chase, and Usman is hoping for a repeat of history on Saturday.
Usman dominated in the first battle, taking Edwards down six times and significantly out-striking him. In the time since, Edwards has won most of his contests by decision, but he has won nonetheless, bringing him to this moment. A considerable underdog at +295, a win would surely register among the greatest upsets in UFC history. If Edwards would win, he would not only snap Usman’s winning streak but preserve Anderson Silva’s record of 16 consecutive victories.
Usman vs Edwards 2 Fight Card and Odds
(C) Kamaru Usman (-360) vs #2 Leon Edwards (+295) – Welterweight Title
#6 Paulo Costa (-360) vs Luke Rockhold (+295) – Middleweight
#3 José Aldo (+110) vs #6 Merab Dvalishvili (-130) – Bantamweight
Wu Yanan (+100) vs Lucie Pudilova (-120) – Women’s Bantamweight
Tyson Pedro (-730) vs Harry Hunsucker (+530) – Light Heavyweight
#11 Marcin Tybura (+280) vs #13 Alexandr Romanov (-340) – Heavyweight
Leonardo Santos (+225) vs Jared Gordon (-265) – Lightweight
Sean Woodson (-340) vs Luis Saldana (+280) – Featherweight
Miranda Maverick (-600) vs Shanna Young (+450) – Women’s Flyweight
AJ Fletcher (-165) vs Ange Loosa (+140) – Welterweight
#11 Amir Alabazi (-435) vs Francisco Figueiredo (+350) – Flyweight
Aoriqileng (-140) vs Jay Perrin (+120) – Bantamweight
Daniel Da Silva (+140) vs Victor Altamirano (-165) – Flyweight