No matter the city or the opponent, every Kamaru Usman fight should be celebrated. Usman has made it a must-see event.
And although the sculpted welterweight champion was off recovering from surgery on his hand, he is back to defend his title at UFC 278 against Leon Edwards — a worthy next challenger with plenty of ability.
That’s not all. UFC 278 offers plenty on the main card and throughout the prelims. Here’s a look at the card and some of our favorite plays.
All UFC 278 odds are courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook and current as of Thursday, Aug. 18 at 9 a.m. ET.
UFC 278 Main Event Odds
- To Win: Kamaru Usman (-400) | Leon Edwards (+310)
UFC 278 Card & Schedule
Salt Lake City will play host to UFC 278 on Saturday, Aug. 20.
The 13-fight card will kick off at 6 p.m. ET with early prelims. Prelims will then start at 8 p.m.
The five-fight main card will begin at 10 p.m. and feature the following bouts:
- Welterweight: Championship: Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Leon Edwards
- Middleweight: Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold
- Bantamweight: José Aldo vs. Merab Dvalishvili
- Heavyweight: Marcin Tybura vs. Alexandr Romanov
- Light Heavyweight: Tyson Pedro vs. Harry Hunsucker
UFC Sportsbook Play of the Day
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Read Anthony Cervino’s hands-on BetMGM Sportsbook review to learn more, or continue reading our UFC 278 predictions and betting tips.
UFC 278 Main Event Prediction
Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards (Welterweight Championship): Usman by Decision
We’ve seen this fight before, although it’s been a minute. Usman and Edwards met in 2015, and Usman won by a unanimous decision. It’s worth noting that this was Edwards’ last defeat.
We’re approaching a decade of perfection for Usman, which should come as no surprise for many. He’s blossomed into one of the most dominant fighters the sport has ever seen, which explains both the odds and the expectations in his latest fight.
At the very least, however, there is intrigue. For starters, Usman is coming off surgery and a competitive fight against Colby Covington. That’s not to say that Usman’s best days are behind him, but the recent chain of events is noteworthy.
His opponent adds to the intrigue, as Edwards is immensely talented. He’s also fought in a total of seven rounds since June 2019. Still, his game is diverse, creative, and intriguing.
The issue turns to seasoning and competition, and Edwards might not have enough to pull the upset.
- My issue with this fight is the duration. Usman is capable of ending it early, and he could also wrestle if he so chooses. My guess is that we see a conservative, successful attack, and Edwards is gifted enough to win at least a round or two.
UFC 278 Main Event Best Bet
Usman to Win (-400)
Wager: 1 Unit
Usman, no matter the layoff, keeps the title defense alive. The champion delivers another victory, albeit as a considerable favorite.
UFC 278 Undercard Predictions
Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold Pick: Costa by Knockout
What a bizarre fight, and I mean it in the best possible way. Luke Rockhold hasn’t fought in more than three years, and Paolo Costa has only fought twice in the last two. Oh, and both have also lost their last few fights.
The power is a fascinating factor in this fight, and Costa should have a fair advantage on that front. Although he has struggled in his high-profile fights of late, that changes here.
- Behind power and a lengthy layoff by his opponent, Costa gets on track in a big way.
José Aldo vs Merab Dvalishvili Pick: Aldo by Decision
It’s essentially a coin flip from the odds standpoint, which feels right. After a few losses, José Aldo has won his last three fights. Merab Dvalishvili hasn’t lost since 2018.
In terms of experience and creativity, Aldo has a sizable advantage. Dvalishvili, however, is a solid striker with a load of talent.
I don’t expect this fight to hit the mat unless someone gets knocked out.
- I’m torn on this fight, although I’ll side with Aldo. The level of competition coupled with the skill set is enough for me to back a guy with so much seasoning.
Marcin Tybura vs Alexandr Romanov Pick: Romanov by Submission
Alexandr Romanov has yet to suffer a blemish on his MMA resume, which explains why he’s such a significant favorite. The other element of his dominance that makes him so fascinating is his fighting style as a heavyweight.
Romanov wants to wrestle, and his submission skills have been fully on display of late. He’s also won via knockout.
Translation: Romanov has too many skills for Marcin Tybura to stick with.
- I could see this ending by knockout, as well, although I believe Romanov gets this on the ground early and doesn’t look back.
Tyson Pedro vs Harry Hunsucker Pick: Pedro by Knockout
Tyson Pedro is a massive favorite, especially for a pay-per-view card. However, given that Pedro has just one win in the last three years, that seems excessive.
Still, Harry Hunsucker hasn’t exactly been thriving. He fought three times in 2021, losing two of the three. Granted, one of those losses was to the surging Tai Tuivasa. Now, he’ll come down to light heavyweight, which will be a massive physical change.
While that could help him, it could also be a giant shock to the system. Maybe too much.
- I don’t love the odds, but it’s not swaying me from the prediction. Pedro picks up where he left off in April and ends this one early.
UFC 278 Best Bets
Usman-Edwards to Go Distance (-175)
Wager: 1 Unit
There will be respect on both sides, and I expect a bit of a safer fight as a result. I also think we’ll see plenty of grappling, which should shorten this fight some.
Costa Over Rockhold by KO/TKO/DQ (-160)
Wager: 1 Unit
Although it’s been an odd stretch for Costa, this is his get-right fight. Look for the power to serve him well and Rockhold’s night to end early.
Aldo to Win (+115)
Wager: 1 Unit
No need for anything fancy here on the betting side. I’ll take plus money with Aldo and let the magician go to work.
Pedro Defeats Hunsucker in Round 1 (-225)
Wager: 1 Unit
Given the fact that Pedro is a (-900) favorite, I am looking for value. And I am finding it with a victory in the first five minutes.