How to bet UFC 278: Expert picks for entire card featuring Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards 2

UFC 278 odds courtesy of Sports Interaction, Canada’s most trusted sportsbook.

Leon Edwards is ready to avenge a loss in a rematch that has been years in the making. In his way is one of the top UFC fighters today, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

Edwards and Usman will fight for the title on Aug. 20 at UFC 278. The bout will take place at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. 

Also on the card will be an important bantamweight matchup between Jose Aldo and Merab Dvalishvili, as well as the return of Luke Rockhold. 

The Sporting News, with the help of Sports Interaction, takes a closer look at the UFC 278 card. Which fight stands out to you the most?

MORE: Sign up to watch the UFC 278 PPV, exclusively on ESPN+

Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Leon Edwards 2 for the UFC welterweight title

According to Sports Interaction, Usman is the -410 favorite while Edwards is the +300 underdog.  

Looking back at their first fight in 2015, Usman landed 48 shots and suffocated Edwards with six takedowns. Edwards landed 26 shots. Usman won via unanimous decision. That was a three-round affair. This time, the fight is scheduled for five rounds. 

Since that fight, Usman has landed 38 takedowns in 13 bouts. In 10 fights since that matchup, Edwards has landed 21 takedowns while going 9-0 with one no-contest. 

Overall, Usman averages 4.66 significant strikes per minute. He also has an accuracy mark of 52 percent. Edwards averages 2.62 significant strikes and has an accuracy mark of 49 percent. “The Nigerian Nightmare” has a 58 percent strike defensive rate and can also take shots, as seen by the first Colby Covington fight. Usman is not far behind with a 55 percent defensive mark. 

On the floor is where things get interesting. Usman averages 3.00 takedowns per 15 minutes (1.48 for Edwards). He has 49 percent takedown accuracy (35 percent for Edwards). Both can attack at any point and they like to suffocate their opponents by the cage. Usman, however, can spice things up with a jab and a foot stomp. 

Edwards has had some time away because of matchups getting canceled. This fight is a long time coming for him, and fans have been clamoring for him to get a title shot. Usman recently had hand surgery, so this will be his first major test since. Can Edwards make the most of this moment, or will Usman take down another opponent on his way to greatness? This one will be tough, but The Sporting News sees the improvement in Edwards’ game. 

Sporting News prediction: Edwards via split decision

Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold; middleweights

According to Sports interaction, Costa is the -290 favorite while Rockhold is the +235 underdog. 

This fight can end one of two ways: Rockhold can wrestle Costa and tire him out, or Costa can clip Rockhold with one big blow. Costa is known for his big shots, averaging 6.85 significant strikes per minute. He has landed triple-digit shots twice in his last three fights. Costa also has an accuracy rate of 59 percent. Unlike his fight against Israel Adesanya, Costa can work around Rockhold. 

Rockhold averages 4.18 strikes per minute but only has an accuracy rate of 48 percent. His ground game is where he can shine. Rockhold averages 0.67 takedowns per 15 minutes and has a takedown accuracy rate of 30 percent. He has landed five takedowns total in his last three wins (he is 3-3 in his last six fights overall). 

MORE: Kamaru Usman net worth: Purse history, career earnings for MMA champion

The one thing Rockhold is notorious for, especially recently, is a relatively weak chin. If Costa can connect, Rockhold could be out for the count. It does not help that this will be his first fight since 2019 and his last three losses have come via knockout. Can the former champion pull off his first win since 2017? Unfortunately for him, Costa has unfinished business with Adesanya. 

Sporting News prediction: Costa via KO

Jose Aldo vs. Merab Dvalishvili; bantamweights

According to Sports Interaction, Dvalishvili is the -130 favorite while Aldo is the -105 underdog. 

This fight continues the trend of strong recent bantamweight matchups. Former featherweight champion Aldo has had quite the run at bantamweight since losing to Petr Yan; he has won three in a row and landed 244 shots during that time. Dvalishvili is also on a run; he has won seven in a row after starting his UFC career 0-2. 

The legendary Aldo has averaged 3.61 significant strikes per 15 minutes in his UFC career. He also has a 46 percent strike accuracy rate. Aldo edges Dvalishvili (41 percent) when it comes to accuracy, but Dvalishvili has the edge in average strikes (4.26). 

On the floor is where Dvalishvili rules all. The Georgian averages 7.30 takedowns per 15 minutes. He has landed double-digit takedowns three times and 63 total. His accuracy rate is 45 pecent. Aldo’s average rate is not All-Star level, but he has a takedown defense of 90 percent. 

If you are an Aldo fan, you should be worried if this fight heads to the floor. With the bout almost even, however, you can’t help but wonder what tricks Aldo has up his sleep. His resurgence gives many hope, including The Sporting News. A big win could earn Aldo a future title shot. Perhaps a TKO win as Dvalishvili attempts to take him to the floor would do the trick. 

Sporting News prediction: Aldo via TKO

Marcin Tybura vs. Alexander Romanov; heavyweights 

According to Sports Interaction, Romanov is the -355 favorite while Tybura is the +280 underdog. 

Tybura was on a roll with five wins in a row before losing to Alexander Volkov in October. Romanov is undefeated (16-0) and has won all five of his UFC fights. 

Tybura lands 3.65 significant strikes per minute while Romanov lands 4.23. Romanov is an animal on the floor; he has landed 16 takedowns in his five fights (6.46 per 15 minutes). Tybura averages 1.54 per 15 minutes but has a takedown defense mark of 82 percent. Will that be enough to halt Romanov? 

If Romanov takes him down, Tybura may not have a chance to escape. With six wins via knockout and nine via submission, Romanov is an assassin waiting to strike. 

Sporting News prediction: Romanov via submission 

MORE: MORE: MMA Schedule 2022: Date, division, location for upcoming fights

Tyson Pedro vs. Harry Hunsucker; light heavyweights 

According to Sports Interaction, Pedro is the -830 favorite while Hunsucker is the +565 underdog. 

Not long ago, Pedro could have been considered a top prospect. He ended up being away from competition for three years, but he returned in grand fashion in April, knocking out Ike Villanueva. He lands 2.89 significant strikes per minute and has a strike defensive mark of 51 percent. This is after losses to Ovince Saint Preux and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. 

Hunsucker is still looking for his first UFC win. The former heavyweight has lost three in a row since entering the Octagon. While his stats show he lands 3.83 significant strikes per minute, none of his fights have gone past the first round. 

This is a must-win for Hunsucker. Unfortunately for him, Pedro is more motivated than ever to prove he belongs after injuries halted his career. 

Sporting News prediction: Pedro via KO

Leonardo Santos vs. Jared Gordon; lightweights

According to Sports Interaction, Gordon is the -325 favorite while Santos is the +235 underdog. 

When it comes to strikes, Gordon averages 5.24 significant blows per minute while Santos has averaged 2.88. Gordon has an accuracy rate of 57 percent and a strike defensive mark of 58 percent. Santos has the edge with a 59 percent defensive mark but has a 47 percent accuracy rate.

The floor has been trouble for both men. Gordon was taken down seven times in his last bout. That ended a three-fight win streak for “Flash.” Gordon averages 2.22 takedowns per 15 minutes compared to 1.01 for Santos, who has been taken down four times in three fights. He has lost his last two fights. 

With a solid defense, Gordon has what it takes to outlast Santos. The slippery and dangerous Gordon can survive for as long as he dictates. 

Sporting News prediction: Gordon via unanimous decision

Wu Yanan vs. Lucie Pudilova; bantamweights

According to Sports Interaction, Pudilova is the -160 favorite while Wu is the +130 underdog. 

Wu has the edge over Pudilova when it comes to striking, landing 4.42 significant shots per minute to 4.15. Pudilova has a better defensive mark against strikes with 52 percent compared to Wu’s 49 percent.

On the floor, it’s a clean sweep for Wu against Pudilova, at least on paper. But for some reason, however, the results aren’t showing for Wu, who is 1-4 since joining the UFC. Pudilova was on a four-fight losing streak in the UFC before going 5-1 with OKTAGON. She has been patient in her fights, with all five wins going the distance. If she can do that against a struggling Wu, Pudilova’s UFC return will end with a sweet victory. 

Sporting News prediction: Pudilova via unanimous decision

Sean Woodson vs. Luis Saldana; featherweights 

According to Sports Interaction, Woodson is the -320 favorite while Saldana is the +220 underdog. 

Woodson is 4-1 since joining the UFC from “Dana White’s Contender Series.” Saldana is 3-1 in four fights. When it comes to striking capability, Woodson lands 5.75 significant strikes per minute while Saldana lands 4.92. Saldana lands his strikes more frequently (50 percent accuracy mark compared to 44 percent for Woodson) and has a better defensive mark (62 percent to 59 percent).

The floor won’t make a difference here as both like to swing heavy. Woodson has been able to match up well with his opponent when it comes to the power punch. He has also faced better competition. That may be enough to give him the win in a fight that could also result in a Performance of the Night bonus for either man. 

Sporting News prediction: Woodson via TKO

MORE: UFC 278 date, start time, odds, PPV schedule & card for Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards 2

Miranda Maverick vs. Shanna Young; flyweights

According to Sports Interaction, Maverick is the -405 favorite while Young is the +285 underdog. 

This matchup is a tale of two fighters who are on completely different paths. Maverick is 2-2 in her last four fights and is coming off a sweet submission win over Sabina Mazo. Young is 2-3 in her last five fights and 1-3 in the UFC. 

They’re about even when it comes to strikes, with Maverick landing 3.62 significant strikes per minute to 3.67 for Young. Maverick has a better strike defense (59 percent to 43 percent). Something else Maverick has over Young is the ground game. Maverick averages 2.10 takedowns per 15 minutes and has landed eight in her last four fights. Young has been taken down eight times in the UFC. If Maverick can take her to the floor, a win just might be inevitable. 

Sporting News prediction: Maverick via submission

A.J. Fletcher vs. Ange Loosa; welterweights 

According to Sports Interaction, Fletcher is the -165 favorite while Loosa is the +130 underdog.

In his short time in the Octagon, Loosa has proven to be a power hitter. He lands 5.07 significant strikes per minute and has landed 152 shots in two fights. Fletcher has landed 2.53 significant strikes per minute but has a better accuracy rate (55 percent to 38 percent). 

Fletcher has the edge on the floor. He lands 4.31 takedowns per 15 minutes and has taken down opponents five times inside the Octagon. That could spell trouble for Loosa, who has only landed one takedown in his career. Loosa has a 7-inch reach advantage, but look out for Fletcher’s takedown game. If he can smother Loosa on the floor, it will be all over from there. 

Sporting News prediction: Fletcher via unanimous decision 

Amir Albazi vs. Francisco Figueiredo; flyweights 

According to Sports Interaction, Albazi is the -355 favorite while Figueiredo is the +280 underdog. 

The fighters have posted polar opposite stats during their short time in the Octagon. Albazi lands 4.06 significant strikes per minute while Figueiredo lands 1.98. Figueiredo is much more accurate with his shots, landing 60 percent to 40 percent for Albazi. In his last fight, Albazi landed 68 shots and took down his opponent twice. 

When he is on the floor, Figueiredo averages 2.88 takedowns per 15 minutes. He has landed six in three fights. Albazi lands about 2.28, with three in two fights. 

With his dynamic hands, it is no wonder Albaze is the favorite. If he can tire out Figueiredo, then the eleventh-ranked flyweight should be able to go home with the win. 

Sporting News prediction: Albazi via unanimous decision

Aori Qileng vs. Jay Perrin; bantamweights

According to Sports Interaction, Qileng is the -190 favorite while Perrin is the +150 underdog. Qileng is coming off a TKO win that ended a two-fight losing streak. Perrin has lost two in a row since joining the UFC. 

While both have produced small sample sizes, Qileng leads with 6.65 significant strikes landed per minute. Perrin lands about 2.83. Perrin has taken down his two opponents six times but has been taken down himself five times. Qileng has landed five takedowns in three fights. 

While not the best match to score, Perrin appears to be due for a win. Perrin is also durable, which means he can potentially tire his opponent out. This could be a sleeper pick that provides some excitement for fans coming into the building to see the card. 

Sporting News prediction: Perrin via split decision

MORE: Will the UFC be returning to Canada any time soon?

Daniel Lacerda vs. Victor Altamirano; flyweights 

Odds have not been provided yet for this matchup

Lacerda is 0-2 in the UFC. The man with five wins via knockout and six via submission has lost his fights via TKO and submission. Fun fact: Keith Peterson has been the referee for both fights. 

Altamirano is 1-1 in his two UFC fights. He averages 5.97 significant strikes per minute and 2.50 takedowns per 15 minutes. With a 0.5-inch reach advantage, Altamirano’s luck inside the Octagon may continue thanks to him being able to adapt well to the UFC lifestyle. 

Prediction: Altamirano via split decision

When is UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards 2?

  • Date: Saturday, Aug. 20
  • Fight Pass prelims: 6 p.m. ET
  • Prelims: 8 p.m. ET
  • Main card: 10 p.m. ET
  • Main event: 12:15 a.m. ET (approximate) 

UFC 278 takes place on Aug. 20. The Fight Pass prelims will begin around 6 p.m. ET. The prelims will go live at 8 p.m. ET and the main card will start at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV. Usman and Edwards should make their way to the Octagon around 12:15 a.m. ET, depending on how long the undercard fights last.

MORE: Sign up to watch the UFC 278 PPV, exclusively on ESPN+

How to watch UFC 278: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards 2

  • TV channels: ESPN+
  • Live stream: ESPN+, UFC Fight Pass

The main card for UFC 278 is available in the U.S. and Mexico on the ESPN+ subscription streaming service for a pay-per-view cost.

Earlier fights are viewable live on ESPN+, the WatchESPN app and, for the early prelims, on UFC Fight Pass. 

In Canada, the main card pay-per-view is available on TSN, Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Eastlink and UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass.

In the United Kingdom, the main card will be available on BT Sport, with the prelims available on UFC Fight Pass. 

In Australia, the main card will be on Main Event, Kayo Sports, FOXTEL, and UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass.

Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards 2 price: How much does UFC 278 cost?

  • $74.99 (current ESPN+ subscribers)
  • $99.98 (new subscribers)

In the U.S., the UFC 278 main card is available via pay-per-view on ESPN+, which also requires a subscription. The PPV price for UFC 278 is $74.99 for current subscribers. New subscribers can pay a bundle price of $99.98 for the UFC 278 pay-per-view and an ESPN+ annual subscription, which offers savings of more than 30 percent.

Product Prices
ESPN+ Monthly Subscription $9.99/month
ESPN+ Annual Subscription $99.99/year
The Disney Bundle w/Hulu Ad-Supported $13.99/month
The Disney Bundle w/Hulu No-Ads $19.99/month
UFC PPV Standalone $74.99 each
UFC PPV Package (UFC PPV & ESPN+ Annual) $99.98, then $69.99/year
UFC PPV & The Disney Bundle

$88.98, then $13.99/month

Click here to learn about the different pricing and bundling options with the ESPN+ platform.

On Aug. 23, ESPN+’s monthly subscription price will change from $6.99 to $9.99. The price of the annual ESPN+ subscription package will change from $69.99 to $99.99. 

There is no change to the standalone PPV price or the Disney Bundle price.

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