As Usman Vs Edwards Approaches, Here’s The Forecast For UFC 278
On August 20th, UFC 278 will take place at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The biggest fight on the card is between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards. Usman is the current Welterweight title holder and Edwards is ranked second and aiming to become number one.
The two previously faced each other in 2015, where Usman won by unanimous decision. A lot can happen in seven years though, so this should be an exciting fight. The oddsmakers have Usman as the favorite, but the odds do suggest that they expect a close fight.
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Usman vs Edwards might have the most riding on it, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only fight on the card worth watching. We’re going to break down the other fights happening at UFC 278 and give some insight into what the outcomes could be.
Usman vs Edwards
We’ve already discussed this fight above but let’s dig a little deeper. Usman, the “Nigerian Nightmare” is the current pound-for-pound UFC leader and was recently nominated for an ESPY for Best MMA Fighter. It’s an award he deserves. Even on a bad day, Usman would be hard to beat and lately he’s been having nothing but good days.
Edwards has been having his share of good days too. He hasn’t lost a fight since he last faced Usman in the octagon. This kind of meeting can always go one of two ways. Facing Usman again will either shake Edwards’ confidence and throw him off or it’ll fire him up even more and we’ll get a fierce fight. We’re hoping for the latter.
Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold
This Middleweight bout has attracted some attention, more for the drama between the two fighters than from expectations for a great fight. Luke Rockhold is a former Middleweight champion who hasn’t had a fight in three years due to injuries and issues surrounding what weight class he should be fighting at. Paulo Costa is currently ranked sixth, but his last two fights ended in losses.
Both are talented fighters with conflicting styles so it could be an interesting fight. The real interest though comes from the fact that they were meant to face each other at UFC 277. Rockhold has suggested that Costa delayed the fight, a move that seriously aggravated the fighter and led to some serious trash talk. Let’s see if he brings that energy to the octagon.
José Aldo vs Merab Dvalishvili
In boxing, it’s primarily the big hitting heavyweights that attract the most attention. The speed and agility required in UFC, however, means that the lighter weight classes can command just as much attention. This Bantamweight match proves that point.
José Aldo and Merab “The Machine” Dvalishvili are currently ranked third and sixth, respectively. They are both coming into the match off a series of wins, which brings a good energy to the fight. Aldo is widely considered one of the best MMA fighters ever, but he’s fairly new to fighting at Bantamweight and hasn’t had the best of luck in this weight class.
This has the potential to be the best fight of the night. Aldo and Dvalishvili are fairly well matched in terms of stats, although Aldo has a higher TKO percentage. On the flip side, Dvalishvili has won 71% of his fights by decision. Whoever manages to set the pace and the tone for the fight will most likely be able to control the result. His record makes Aldo an easy fighter to bet on and his recent results suggest he’s settling in at Bantamweight.