The UFC heads to Salt Lake City for a huge undisputed welterweight title fight between number one ranked pound for pound fighter and world champion Kamaru Usman as he defends his title against number two ranked Leon Edwards.
The 170 pound contest is a rematch from way back in December 2015, where Usman claimed a dominant decision win over the Brit and neither man has suffered defeat since then with Usman going on to become one of the very best of all-time.
Edwards is looking to become just the second British fighter to become a UFC world champion but can he do it? We'll break down the fight here and provide you with our best free UFC betting picks for the fight to see if we can earn you some extra cash.
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UFC 278 Information
- Saturday, August 20th, 2022
- Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Main card starts 10pm ET
- Welterweight (170 pounds) championship bout
- 5 x 5 minute rounds
Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards
A long awaited rematch in the UFC welterweight division between the reigning, defending champion and one of the very best fighters in the world finally goes down at UFC 278.
Usman claimed the title back in March 2019 with a dominant victory over Tyron Woodley, before successful title defences against Colby Covington twice (one KO win, one decision), Jorge Masvidal twice (one KO win, one decision) and a knockout win over Gilbert Burns.
He currently stands on a 19 fight win streak and is undefeated in the UFC, and is just one win away from tying the all-time UFC record of consecutive victories. He has a professional record of 20-1 with nine knockouts, one submission and 10 decision wins.
Edwards suffered defeat to Usman back in 2015, but has since gone ten fights unbeaten with a 9-0-1 record in that time. His most recent win came in a five-round affair against the legendary Nate Diaz, who he dominated for 25 minutes to claim a unanimous decision win.
This will be his first time competing for UFC gold. He has a professional record of 19-3-1 with six knockouts, three submissions and 10 decision wins.
Route to victory
This is an incredibly tight fight between two incredibly well-rounded fighters at the absolute peaks of their careers.
Usman has been known to be the best wrestler in the UFC across all weight divisions, with the only contender alongside him being the now-retired Khabib Nurmagomedov, but in recent years his striking game has evolved dramatically too.
"The Nigerian Nightmare" has now developed a striking game that allows him to stand with some of the division's best and even earn knockout wins, while relying on his wrestling as a back-up to fall on if necessary.
He may need that when he comes up against Edwards, who is the far more refined striker and is a fighter that has developed his ground game exponentially since his defeat to Usman back in 2015.
"Rocky" is a sublime kickboxer with lightning fast strikes and good power, as well as picture perfect technique and accuracy that lights his opponents on fire when they get within range of him.
But his wrestling has come on leaps and bounds since the first match between these two and his performances in recent fights have got many fans and experts believing that he could be the man to upset Usman and take the crown from him.
And still UFC champion...
Despite all of that being said, it's hard to look past one of the most dominant fighters of his generation in a weight class that he has wiped out, against a fighter he has already handily beaten.
While that first fight was a long time ago, there are still some things that ring true. Usman is a far superior wrestler and if he can dictate where this fight takes place, then it will be incredibly difficult for Edwards to be able to gather momentum and launch his attacks.
Both men have developed brilliantly in the time since their first fight, but there is a big gap in quality between the opposition that they have fought. Usman has fought exclusively in title fights over the last three years, while Edwards has fought just two full fights since then plus his one round performance against Belal Muhammad.
There's also the fact that Diaz managed to severely hurt Edwards in the final seconds of his fight with a boxing exchange, and he's nowhere near as powerful as Usman is.
The likelihood is that Usman uses his striking to set up his wrestling and dominates on the mat for 25 minutes, but there's a good chance that he lands a killer blow on the feet too.
Edwards is spectacular and arguably the greatest British export this sport has ever produced, but even that isn't enough for him to beat Usman right now. Back Usman for the win and to retain his undisputed welterweight title at UFC 278.
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