MMA Preview – Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards 2 at UFC 278
KAMARU USMAN VS LEON EDWARDS FACTS
When is UFC 278? Sunday 21st August, 2022 - 01:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC 278? Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah (US)
Where can I get tickets for UFC 278? Click here to buy tickets for UFC 278
What channel is UFC 278 on? BT Sport 1
Where can I stream UFC 278? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live on ESPN+ and you can sign up for access as part of a Disney Bundle here!
KAMARU USMAN VS LEON EDWARDS LOWDOWN
The pound-for-pound King Kamaru Usman (20-1) heads to Salt Lake City for the sixth defence of his crown. With no Khabib Nurmagomedov and Jon Jones in the picture, there is no argument that he is top dog. He has been active and continues to evolve adding knockouts to his supreme cardio and wrestling game. He is on a 19-fight win streak and his title run speaks for itself starting with his dismantling of the previous champion Tyron Woodley (2019) adding Colby Covington (2019 -TKO), Jorge Masvidal (2020 – unanimous decision), Gilbert Burns (2021 – TKO), Masvidal (2021 – KO) and Covington (2021 – unanimous decision) again.
Leon Edwards (19-3(1)) has gone on his own tear since he first met Usman back in 2015. That made it 2-2 in the UFC at the time, but he has not lost since. He has not been as active fighting 10 times compared to Usman’s 13 fights in that time however, he has also added big names to the record and continues to evolve. He is coming off solid decisions over Donald Cerrone (2018), Gunnar Nelson (2019), Rafael dos Anjos (2019) and Nate Diaz back in June last year.
KAMARU USMAN VS LEON EDWARDS PREDICTION
Seven years ago, they were both good and promising welterweights, now they are both at the very top. We have seen Edwards’ grappling improve throughout his UFC career and Usman’s striking has improved drastically in his last few fights forming two complete mixed martial artists. The questions here will be if Usman can hang on the feet with Edwards and can Edwards hold his own in the wrestling exchanges.
Usman is still a limited striker, but if that straight right hand can knock out Masvidal, Edwards has no choice but to respect it. The same can be said for Edwards’ clinch and that elbow on the exit.
We can see this being one of Usman’s toughest fights. Edwards is the better striker with a slight height and reach advantage. He is incredibly illusive and hard to pin down so, Usman cannot simply rely on his wrestling and right hand for five rounds.
If Usman is overconfident in his hands, we can see Edwards causing the upset by breaking Usman down with leg kicks from his southpaw stance forcing him to shoot in and working hard to gain any control. The Brummie is simply a better striker, but his lack of killer instinct will allow Usman to adapt.
The champ has the experience and cardio to drag the fight into his domain if he suffers any adversity and grind out a decision. We expect him to work very hard and there is value on Edwards, but the pound-for-pound King should keep that status.
Prediction: Usman via Decision - CLICK HERE FOR PARIMATCH'S WELCOME OFFER (BET £5, GET £30 IN BONUSES!)
Value Bet: Edwards to win