- Date & Location: Saturday, August 20 @ Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Time: Early Prelims (6:00 p.m. ET), Prelims (8 p.m. ET), Main Card (10 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: Early Prelims (ESPN+), Prelims (ESPN). Main Card (ESPN + pay-per-view)
A rematch of a 2015 contest between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards headlines the UFC 278 fight card. Here is some background on the two competitors before we discuss, in detail, the UFC 278 betting breakdown.
Usman and Edwards have done nothing but win fights since they first met. Usman, who is the reigning and defending UFC champion, is 13-0 since he and Edwards first fought on the early prelims of the UFC on FOX 27 fight card in Florida on December 19, 2015. Edwards is 9-0 with one no contest since Usman defeated him via decision in their first meeting.
Usman won the UFC welterweight title in March 2019 with a decision over Tyron Woodley. He has defended that belt five times and is coming off a November decision win over Colby Covington. Edwards is the No. 2 ranked fighter in the official UFC welterweight rankings and he enters UFC 278 coming off a decision win over Nate Diaz in June 2021.
Before we look at the rematch between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards at the top of the UFC 278 PPV card, which streams on ESPN+, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.
UFC 278 Picks: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards 2
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Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards 2 breakdown and analysis
The question facing Kamaru Usman during his run up the UFC welterweight rankings and his reign as the promotion’s 170-pound champion has been, when are we going to see him reach his peak? That inquiry has not yet been answered, as he keeps showing improvement from fight to fight. That’s scary.
This matchup marks Usman’s third rematch against a previously vanquished opponent. The thing to note is that a lot more time has passed between Usman’s first meeting with Edwards than had passed between his rematches with Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal. With that, Leon Edwards is not the same fighter he was the first time Usman faced him.
Technically, Edwards is the better striker of the two, but Usman has shown that he is more than capable on the feet. His knockout wins over Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns and most recently, Jorge Masvidal, prove he can handle himself in the striking department.
Usman’s background is in wrestling and with that, if he finds himself in deep waters while striking, he can always transition to his base. With that being said, Edwards has strong takedown defense at 70 percent. So, moving to wrestling might be easier said than done.
Pick: Kamaru Usman to beat Leon Edwards.
Who has the edge
I don’t think Usman has become bored as the champion, but he has mentioned moving up weight divisions and also possibly looking forward to a big payday against a boxing champion. With that, I believe Edwards is more focused on the prize.
Another thing to note is what happened with Amanda Nunes at UFC 269. Nunes, the long-reigning champ, seemed to overlook her opponent in that fight, Julianna Pena, and it cost her the title.
I think the mental aspect of this matchup will have the biggest influence on the outcome and that is something to consider regarding UFC 278 betting.
Prediction: Kamaru Usman to defeat Leon Edwards via decision.
Best UFC 278 bets
Outside of a surprise finish, I see this fight going the distance, so I would think a bet on the over as far as rounds is the way to go when it comes to UFC 278 picks. Neither of these men have ever been knocked out and Usman’s one loss — via submission — came in his second pro fight in 2013.
As for the outcome, I don’t think putting a bet down on Edwards for the upset is out of line, especially at the odds he is getting.
My belief is that Usman will get the win, but a lot of that belief hinges on him going into the fight physically and mentally prepared.
Pick: Kamaru Usman to win a decision over Leon Edwards.
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