UFC 278 Fight Breakdown: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards 2


MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC 278, a five-round title fight rematch between UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and challenger Leon Edwards. The event takes place on Saturday, August 20 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Kamaru Usman (-350)

Usman (20-1) is the UFC welterweight champion. The 35-year-old Nigerian joined the UFC in 2015 after winning The Ultimate Fighter and since then, he is 15-0 in the Octagon. He has fought and defeated many of the best fighters in the sport, including Colby Covington twice, Jorge Masvidal twice, Gilbert Burns, Tyron Woodley, Rafael dos Anjos, Sean Strickland, and Edwards. Usman is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the sport right now. He has phenomenal wrestling which is his base, but he also has great striking skills and he possesses legitimate knockout power. He has also shown a tremendous chin and the ability to go 25 hard minutes. There is a lot to like about Usman, and he doesn’t have many holes in his game. But if anyone is going to give him a tough test, it’s someone like Edwards who is also well-rounded and who has the knowledge of fighting him previously. it is going to be very interesting to see how this welterweight title fight rematch plays out.

Leon Edwards (+290)

Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) is the No. 2 contender in the UFC welterweight division. The 30-year-old Brit joined the UFC in 2014 and since then he has gone 11-2, 1 NC in the Octagon with notable wins over Nate Diaz, Rafael Dos Anjos, Bryan Barberena, Donald Cerrone, and Vicente Luque. Edwards is one of the top welterweights in the sport and he is one of the best strikers in the division with very good takedown defense. His conditioning is also good and he has shown a solid chin during his career as well. Although Edwards did lose to Usman in their first fight back in 2015, it has been seven years since then, and it will be interesting to see what improvements he’s made in 2022.

Fight Breakdown: This is another very intriguing rematch between two elite welterweights. Usman is unbeaten in the UFC and he has looked incredible for many years, while Edwards hasn’t lost since he lost to Usman in their first fight. On paper, Usman should have the edge with the grappling and knockout power, but Edwards has fantastic striking skills and improved takedown defense. I feel like this fight is more competitive than the odds suggest, and I believe Edwards has a shot of pulling off the upset here. As good as Usman is, he does have some holes in his standup, and I believe Edwards will be able to make some adjustments from the first fight and make this rematch a more competitive matchup, especially if the fight takes place on the feet. That being said, Usman has a huge edge in the grappling, and I believe he will revert back to his wrestling in this matchup in order and defeat Edwards by decision again.

Prediction: Kamaru Usman

Written by Adam Martin.


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