Kamaru Usman (20-1), one of the UFC’s more active champions, will put his welterweight strap on the line in a matchup with Leon Edwards (19-3) at UFC 278.
The five-round title fight takes place Saturday at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, with early prelim action beginning at 6 p.m. ET, while the main card starts at 10 p.m. Sportsbook has Usman as the -400 favorite in UFC 278 odds.
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UFC odds, among other betting markets, at Sportsbook. Odds Shark also has you covered with a full Usman vs Edwards II preview, as well as additional UFC news and betting sites.
UFC 278 Betting Notes
Usman is the UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighter, and no rocket science is needed to calculate why. “The Nigerian Nightmare” has carved through the 170-pound division, defending his belt vs the likes of Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns.
Edwards enters this fight vs Usman on a nine-fight win streak during which he’s bested opponents such as Donald Cerrone, Rafael dos Anjos and Nate Diaz. The Englishman’s last loss came in his first fight vs Usman back in 2015. Edwards entered that fight as a +220 underdog and lost by unanimous decision.
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Online sportsbook Sportsbook lists Usman as the -400 favorite, with Edwards trailing as a +259 underdog.
UFC 278 betting enthusiasts looking for a score won’t want to miss the early portion of the main card, where Harry Hunsucker enters as a big +500 underdog in his light heavyweight bout against Tyson Pedro (-850).
The tightest odds of the evening can be found in a women's bantamweight fight between Lucie Pudilova (-120) and Yanan Wu (EVEN).
UFC 278 Betting Odds & Fight Card UFC 278 Betting Lines And Fight Card Main Card Welterweight Championship – Kamaru Usman (-400) vs Leon Edwards (+259) Middleweight – Paulo Costa (-435) vs Luke Rockhold (+273) Bantamweight – Merab Dvalishvili (-152) vs Jose Aldo (+109) Heavyweight – Alexander Romanov (-435) vs Marcin Tybura (+274) Light Heavyweight – Tyson Pedro (-1250) vs Harry Hunsucker (+529) Prelims Lightweight – Jared Gordon (-312) vs Leonardo Santos (+208) Women’s Bantamweight – Lucie Pudilova (-152) vs Yanan Wu (+109) Featherweight – Sean Woodson (-455) vs Luis Saldana (+286) Women’s Flyweight – Miranda Maverick (-650) vs Shanna Young (+435) Welterweight – A.J. Fletcher (-129) vs Ange Loosa (+135) Flyweight – Amir Albazi (-625) vs Francisco Figueiredo (+355) Bantamweight – Qileng Aori (-145) vs Jay Perrin (+105) Flyweight – Victor Altamarino (-189) vs Daniel Da Silva (+133)
Odds as of August 20 via Sportsbook
UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 Broadcast Information Date/Time: August 20, 6 p.m. ET Location: Salt Lake City, Utah Arena: Vivint Arena Where to Watch: ESPN+, PPV Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards Odds & Pick
Fighter Odds Kamaru Usman -400 Leon Edwards +259
Usman is well on his way to becoming the best welterweight of all time, which is reflected in the love he gets from sportsbooks. The 35-year-old has been an underdog just once in his 14-fight career (+155 vs Tyron Woodley at UFC 235). Since becoming the welterweight champ, Usman has never encountered tighter odds than -225 (vs Covington at UFC 245) as he’s maintained a commanding chalk status.
Edwards received his shortest odds (-475) in his last fight vs Diaz. That mark represented the 30-year-old’s seventh consecutive fight as the betting chalk. Obviously, that streak ends vs Usman, where “Rocky” opens as a +300 underdog. Edwards has a 2-1 UFC record as the underdog, with his only loss coming to Usman.
Usman: Need to Knows Since Usman won the belt in 2019, four of his five fights have gone OVER 2.5 rounds. Usman possesses knockout power but often chooses to fight smart and feel out his opponent. That’s why this bout vs Edwards, a notorious decision fighter, is favored to go the distance (-155). When The Nigerian Nightmare does score knockdowns, though, he will almost always lead with his iron jab, far and away his best punch. The champ doesn’t always unleash furious combos, but his offense nearly always starts with his lead punch – it’s what set up his KO victory over Covington at UFC 245, and the jab, out of the southpaw stance this time, sat down Burns for the KO at UFC 258. Usman has tons of experience fighting southpaws (Covington, Edwards), and he’ll even switch stances himself to give opponents a different look on his jab. However, because of his size, the Nigerian is a little slower and more vulnerable to potshots. Burns knocked Usman down with a lightning-fast right hand but couldn’t keep the pressure on to win the fight. Watch for Edwards to look for quick strikes and combos at range to try to break Usman’s unflinching momentum. The 35-year-old’s last three fights were against Covington (win – unanimous decision), Masvidal (win – knockout) and Burns (win – technical knockout). Edwards: Need to Knows When the brawl vs Usman finally begins, Edwards will end a 14-month layoff between fights. Rocky’s fought in just five rounds since 2019 (a decision vs Diaz and a second-round eye poke NC vs Belal Muhammad), which forced the UFC to remove him from the rankings at one point, as boss man Dana White grew frustrated with delays. Now, Edwards gets his first career title shot, though it remains to be seen if the rust is worn off by Saturday. Edwards rarely knocks opponents out, as just six of his 19 victories have come via KO/TKO, but he’s still a smooth striker, capable of ripping off combos that end with a sharp kick or left hook. He showed some glamorous striking vs Diaz, but only got severely wobbled near the end of Round 5. Nate curiously decided not to pursue Edwards heavily, though, saving Rocky from suffering his first career stoppage loss. While Usman has strayed away from his grappling strength in recent fights, the ground game could be a difference-maker in this fight. If Edwards is having success in striking exchanges, watch for Usman to level-change, drag his opponent into his comfort zone and pummel him. While Edwards is a decent wrestler, he only stuffs 70 percent of takedown attempts, something Usman is sure to exploit. The 30-year-old’s last three fights have come against Diaz (win – unanimous decision), Muhammad (no contest – accidental eye poke) and dos Anjos (win – unanimous decision). Pick: Usman by decision (-120)
Check out our full
Usman vs Edwards II preview for an even deeper analysis of the welterweight rematch. Bet On Usman By Decision Here Luke Rockhold vs Paulo Costa Odds & Pick
Fighter Odds Paulo Costa -435 Luke Rockhold +273
The co-main event features an interesting middleweight bout between Paulo Costa (13-2) and Luke Rockhold (16-5).
Costa is coming off a decision loss to Marvin Vettori (+165), his second straight defeat. Rockhold last fought in the UFC in 2017, where he got knocked out in three of his last four fights.
Costa: Need to Knows Costa is famous for shenanigans, and not in a good way. He infamously blamed his loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 253 on drinking too much wine beforehand. In the weeks leading up to his fight vs Vettori, the Brazilian’s camp made it clear he couldn’t make middleweight or catchweight, resulting in the bout being moved to light heavyweight. It’s worth watching if either Costa or Rockhold, two notorious knuckleheads, come in overweight. If “The Eraser” has one strength, it’s his power. A mountain of a man at 185 (if he makes weight), Costa loves to push opponents toward the fence and unleash. He does a really good job of establishing the body with low hooks, which will test Rockhold’s conditioning and open up lanes to the former champ’s head for a possible knockout. Costa’s last three fights have come against Vettori (loss – unanimous decision), Adesanya (loss – technical knockout) and Yoel Romero (win – unanimous decision). Rockhold: Need to Knows Three years ago, Rockhold left the Octagon in shambles, finding himself on the receiving end of a vicious stoppage at the hands of Jan Blachowicz. Over his last several fights, the California native’s chin looked like it was made of glass. While training for his return in 2021, the 37-year-old suffered a herniated disc in his back. Rockhold looks physically fit in 2022, but that was never a problem. We expect Costa to hold an advantage in conditioning, striking and damage absorption at UFC 278. Luckily for Rockhold, wrestling and jiu-jitsu age much better than striking. There’s a recipe for victory if Rockhold can stick at range with Costa, perhaps firing off a vintage whip kick or two and then stepping into a takedown once his opponent is stunned. Costa is a brick of a human being, but if Rockhold can tangle him up on the ground, good things can happen. Rockhold’s last three fights were Blachowicz (loss – knockout), Yoel Romero (loss – knockout) and David Branch (win – technical knockout). Pick: Costa by KO/TKO (-176)
Jose Aldo vs Merab Dvalishvili Odds & Pick
Fighter Odds Merab Dvalishvili -152 Jose Aldo +109
Jose Aldo (31-7) takes on Merab Dvalishvili (14-4) in a bantamweight bout that’s arguably just as exciting as the main event. The Brazilian comes in on an impressive three-fight win streak, while the Georgian enters with a seven-fight UFC win streak dating back to 2018.
Aldo: Need to Knows After a gruesome beating from Petr Yan at UFC 251, the 35-year-old Aldo has enjoyed a career resurgence, rattling off three decisive victories over top contenders. There was so much to love in his latest victory over Rob Font, in which Aldo was a +125 underdog, too. “Junior” looked reborn in the Octagon, mashing hard punches to Font’s liver, sweeping his legs with low kicks, controlling the ground game and even withstanding serious punishment when the American swung back. Aldo will face a vastly different challenge vs Merab, though. “The Machine” has landed 50 career takedowns, a UFC bantamweight record, and will come out ready to drown the older, less explosive Aldo. The former champ has defended takedowns at a 90 percent clip in his career, but how he handles Merab’s ferocious moves toward him will likely dictate the pace – and ultimately the outcome – of this fight. Aldo’s last three fights have come against Font (win – unanimous decision), Pedro Munhoz (win – unanimous decision) and Marlon Vera (win – unanimous decision). Dvalishvili: Need to Knows Aldo is exceptional at defending takedowns, which might require Merab to pivot to a different strategy. Dvalishvili will eventually work into a takedown attempt at some point, but some of his traditional entries – counters off low kicks or big overhands – might not be there due to Aldo’s high fight IQ. Instead, watch for Merab to push Aldo toward a clinch near the fence and then try for a trip takedown. Junior is still dangerous in the clinch, though – Chad Mendes’ chin can attest to that after Aldo clocked him with a deadly knee way back at UFC 142. This fight will come down to how creatively Merab can get Aldo to that mat, and then, if that doesn’t work, the bout will be decided by who strikes with more effectiveness. Dvalishvili’s last three fights have come against Marlon Moraes (win – technical knockout), Cody Stamann (win – unanimous decision) and John Dodson (win – unanimous decision). Pick: Dvalishvili by decision (+150)
Tyson Pedro vs Harry Hunsucker Odds & Pick
Fighter Odds Tyson Pedro -1250 Harry Hunsucker +529
There’s a heavy dose of big boys fighting on the main card in Salt Lake City, including a light heavyweight bout between Tyson Pedro (8-3) and Harry Hunsucker (7-5). Hunsucker (0-2 in the UFC) is the biggest ‘dog on the card at +500, while Pedro holds a 4-3 record in the promotion.
Pedro: Need to Knows The 30-year-old had legit potential when he entered the UFC in 2016, securing stoppage victories over Khalil Rountree and Paul Craig. Between knee reconstruction surgery and other delays, that momentum has come undone, as he’s fought just four times in the last four years. When Pedro does enter the Octagon, though, someone usually goes out – six of his seven UFC fights have ended in a finish. Bet on this fight to finish inside the distance. Pedro bested his last opponent, Ike Villanueva, by keeping his distance and throwing jabs and kicks before chopping him down with leg kicks. The Aussie’s reach helps him line up his power, making him a scary knockout artist. Pedro has a four-inch reach advantage over Hunsucker. Expect fireworks. The Australian’s last three fights were against Villanueva (win – technical knockout), Shogun Rua (loss – technical knockout) and Ovince Saint Preux (loss – submission). Hunsucker: Need to Knows There’s a reason Hunsucker is a massive underdog. He holds an ugly 7-5 record and he’s been knocked out in all five of his career losses. Justin Tafa and Tai Tuivasa were the latest to put him to sleep. Hunsucker’s struggles have laid a clear blueprint for betters, though, with all 12 of his pro fights ending in the first round. Bet on this fight to finish in Round 1. This will be Hunsucker’s first UFC fight at light heavyweight. He was obviously outgunned at heavyweight, so hopefully he fares better at 205. In his previous fights, Hunsucker showed a tendency to skip into his offensive combos before throwing. His hand speed is decent, but he telegraphs his punches and leaves himself far too exposed to counterpunches. We expect a talented fighter like Pedro to pick the American apart with ease. Hunsucker’s last three fights have come against Tafa (loss – technical knockout), Tuivasa (loss – technical knockout) and Cory Moon (win – knockout). Pick: Pedro by first-round KO/TKO (-165)
Marcin Tybura vs Alexander Romanov Odds & Pick
Fighter Odds Alexander Romanov -475 Marcin Tybura +274
The UFC 278 main card will be rounded out by yet another slugfest, this time at heavyweight, between Marcin Tybura (22-7) and Alexander Romanov (14-0).
Tybura: Need to Knows Tybura has had an interesting UFC career. He’s fought – and lost – to top contenders, such as Alexander Volkov and Derrick Lewis, but beat up on pretty much everyone else. The Poland native has never quite gotten over the hump in the heavyweight division, and against a beast like Romanov, he’ll enter with the longest odds of his UFC career (+295). Romanov is a wrestler, which means Tybura’s ground game – and his submission defense – will be tested. The 36-year-old was able to win his fight vs Sergey Spivak by relentlessly pressing for the takedown and eventually dragging the Moldovan to the ground and tapping him for a decision victory. Romanov won’t go anywhere as quietly, meaning Tybura better come ready to fight off his back. The heavyweight’s last three fights have come against Volkov (loss – unanimous decision), Walt Harris (win – technical knockout) and Greg Hardy (win – technical knockout). Romanov: Need to Knows Romanov is a savage. The Moldovan is undefeated in his four UFC bouts, with all four ending by stoppage. Before his contract with the UFC, Romanov worked his way to becoming the heavyweight champion in Eagle FC. The 31-year-old has experience under the bright lights and understands what it means to be a champion. Expect lots of energy from his side of the Octagon on Saturday. “King Kong” has an excellent submission game for a heavyweight. He ragdolled Chase Sherman in his last fight, tossing the 250-pound American around like he was nothing before securing an anaconda choke. Romanov can take guys down conventionally, from the clinch or with a judo toss, after which he’ll uncork some wild submission attempts, including the rare forearm choke, which he used on Marcos Rogerio de Lima Romanov’s last three fights were against Sherman (win – submission), Jared Vanderaa (win – technical knockout) and Juan Espino (win – split decision). Pick: Romanov by submission (+375)